However, traffic growth was confined to the quick service restaurant and fine dining/upscale hotel segments, said the researcher.
“Visits to quick service restaurants increased by 2% over same quarter last year, and major quick service chains had the strongest traffic growth with a 3% increase in traffic.
“Fine dining/upscale hotel restaurants generated a 6% increase in traffic.”
Traffic down in midscale/family dining segment
However, the midscale/family dining segment continued to struggle with visits down by 3% in the quarter. Visits to casual dining restaurants were also down 2%, said NPD Group restaurant industry analyst Bonnie Riggs.
“Thanks to unusually mild weather, winter 2012 was a bright spot for the foodservice industry; however, the economic environment will continue to be a challenge for the sector.
“We forecast a slowdown in traffic growth for the balance of 2012 as the country continues its slow economic recovery. “