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Log In / Register | Aug 22, 2017

2017 Trends: Americans Embrace Customized Wellness, Eating at Home and Good Causes

Americans will take a more personal approach to their health and wellness in 2017.

Restaurant Traffic Stalls Then Drops

Empty line at a SaladWorks restaurant
Empty line at a SaladWorks franchise (photo/bmm)

After two consecutive quarters of flat-lined consumer visits, U.S. restaurants had a turn for the worse: a decline in traffic during the third quarter of 2016, according to a major foodservice researcher. And if that news wasn't bad enough, for the first time in five years the quick service restaurant sector had a decline in consumers.

Global Lunch Traffic Improves but Major Chain Visits Weaken

CHICAGO – Lunch visits at foodservice outlets in several countries improved for the second consecutive quarter.

Restaurant Spending Up but Visits Flat

Family eating at home, photo by USDA.gov
Consumers remaining at home. Photo by USDA.gov

CHICAGO – Spending in foodservice establishments has risen by 3 percent in the year ending in April 2015 compared to a year ago. That gain in spending is despite the flatness of consumer visits, according to researcher The NPD Group.

Hispanics Visit More Restaurants while Other Groups Drift Away

Spanish language Papa John's webpage
Image from Papa John's Spanish language webpage

CHICAGO — The U.S. Hispanic population is growing exponentially compared to non-Hispanics, and the group's overall restaurant visits outpaced population growth.

Hot Sauce Heats Up!!

Srirachi factory. Photo by Serena Grace

CHICAGO – Way more consumers like it hot says a foodservice researcher. Hot sauce, the hotness of which is often ranked by quantity of flames or symbols of hell, is well… hot right now.

Banner Burger Year for Eateries

Burger
Burger Bar of San Jose, California. Photo by Thomas Hawk

CHICAGO — Against the backdrop of sagging traffic for restaurants as a whole, burgers ordered at U.S. foodservice outlets had a banner year in 2014. That upward push is despite the weight of higher beef prices. It seems inflating beef prices have incentivized casual dining restaurants to add burgers. That is to say, consumers chose burgers over increasingly pricier steak and other beef entrees.

Little Traffic Growth Means Little Restaurant Unit Rise in Spring 2014

Small restaurant Zoup grew 20 units to 55 in 2014
Bucking the trend, small chain Zoup! grew 20% in units to 55 from '13-'14.

CHICAGO — According to a new report by a foodservice researcher, there has been little growth in consumer visits to restaurants in America. Restaurant units grew by only 0.8 percent in the spring of 2014 compared to spring 2013. Total U.S. restaurant count stands at 635,494, based on restaurants reported to be open as of March 31, which is up by 5,002 units from spring 2013.

Total Restaurant Visits Dip in First Quarter

CHICAGO — The downside for the U.S. restaurant industry in the first quarter of 2014 was that total restaurant visits dipped. The upside is that delivery orders received a boost.

Casual Dining Still Struggles

Casual dining chain Red Lobster gets sold to Golden Gate Capital by Darden
Darden sells its sluggish Red Lobster casual dining chain

CHICAGO — Visits to casual dining restaurants were at a 6-year low in the year ending February 2014.