Customers Are Bringin’ Home the Bacon

Recent metrics show that “total restaurant traffic at the morning meal, breakfast and a.m. snack, has fully recovered from pandemic losses."

ToGoBreakfast

The early-morning consumer is a bright spot in data released this April by industry analyst Circana (formerly IRI and The NPD Group).

Recent metrics from February show that “total restaurant traffic at the morning meal, breakfast and a.m. snack, has fully recovered from pandemic losses,” says Circana.

Specifically, such visits grew 10% over last year’s traffic and 2% compared to three years ago. “We’re seeing strong customer traffic at breakfast and morning snack, which means consumers are looking for convenience and portable meals and snacks,” says David Portalatin, Circana food industry advisor, in a press release. “On the other hand, dinner and lunch visit growth has been slower due to home-centric behaviors being stickier at these dayparts. At lunch, consumers have other choices, including bringing items from home or going to a workplace cafeteria, offering subsidized pricing or no-cost options. Additionally, the higher average check for lunch and dinner may make them less appealing to some consumers.”

Meanwhile, total restaurant lunch visits were down 1% in February compared to a year ago, and dinner traffic was down 3%. Further, off-premise traffic represented 72% of the total restaurant traffic, while dine-in traffic is down double-digits from levels seen three years ago.

Looking ahead, Portalatin says convenience, portability, ordering ease and speed are likely to entice today’s consumers.

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