Foodservice Equipment Reports

Worldwide Restaurant Traffic Is A Mixed Bag First Quarter

Continuing stagnant economies in much of Europe and the U.S. are holding down restaurant visits, according to the latest traffic and sales data from The NPD Group. But China, Germany and France saw significant real gains in the first quarter this year, the Port Washington, N.Y., research firm reported.

China continued to see a foodservice explosion. First-quarter traffic surged 11.4%, while check averages rose 4.7%. Traffic rose 1.8% in France and 1.1% in Germany. Check averages also rose moderately in both countries. Visits rose only 0.4% in both the U.S. and Italy. But traffic fell 2% in the United Kingdom and 1.7% in the Japan, and plummeted 3.1% in Canada and 8.3% in Spain. Visits to quick-service restaurants drove most of the gains in Europe.

“The global foodservice industry ended 2010 with visit gains in many of the countries NPD tracks,” said Bob O’Brien, global senior v.p., foodservice at NPD. “With the exception of China, France and Germany, volatile economies and, in the case of Japan, a natural disaster, dashed the glimmers of hope the industry had of recovery in the first quarter of the year.”

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