The January slowdown halts the restaurant’s recovery

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CHICAGO – The recovery of the catering industry stopped in January: physical and online restaurant visits decreased by 2% per month compared to a decrease of 8% in January 2021, according to The NPD Group.

The market research company found that consumer spending in restaurants increased by 4% in the first month of the year, reflecting higher food and operating costs, while overall traffic decreased by 10% compared to the pre-pandemic level. January 2020. The rough period came 10 months in a row of increased traffic compared to the sharp decline associated with the pandemic.

“No one has ever said that the road to recovery will be smooth and stable,” said David Portalatin, a food adviser at The NPD Group. “We are now experiencing a drop in the road due to the omicron option and the stimulus money is running out.”

Internet and physical visits to fast food restaurants, which account for the bulk of industry traffic, fell 3% month-on-year from a year ago, when visits fell 3% in January 2021, down 7% from January 2020. year. full-service restaurants rose 2% from a 22% decline a year ago, but still down 21% from two years ago.

While lunchtime traffic increased by 40%, this jump compared to a decrease of 61% a year ago. In January 2020, the number of on-site visits decreased by 46% compared to the pandemic level. Orders outside, including shipping, travel and carryovers, fell 10% month-over-month growth from 22% in January 2021.

“Looking ahead, we should expect volatility,” said Mr. Portalatin. “The February number of restaurants will be comparable to the harsh February of last year due to the extreme weather. My advice: don’t despair from January and don’t rejoice when February seems wonderful. Just stay the course because we are on a steady path of gradual improvement. ”

NPD Group estimates that by the end of 2022, restaurant attendance should resume 98% of 2019 visits.

The January slowdown halts the restaurant’s recovery

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