Fast casuals recover fastest in Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Orlando
Geography is important in the recovery of the pandemic for US restaurant chains, especially in the fast casual industry.
For example, the decline in customer transactions at restaurant chains in the Dallas-Fort Worth area improved from double-digit declines last year to -4% in May 2021 compared to May 2019, a pre-pandemic basis, according to the NPD Group. DFW is in the top 10 markets to recover from the sharp declines in customer transactions caused by the pandemic last year.
In addition to Texas lifting of COVID restaurant restrictions in March, the market’s customer transactions in May reflected restaurant openings and a 10% year-over-year increase in fast-casual chain transactions, according to NPD’s CREST Performance Alerts, the one provide a weekly overview of the chain transactions. specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale and casual dining chains.
In addition to the DFW market, Atlanta, Birmingham, Salt Lake City and Orlando are other top market areas that saw improvements in declines in customer transactions for restaurant chains in May. All of these markets are in areas where restaurant restrictions were relaxed or lifted by May and customer transactions from fast-casual chains increased.
Fast casuals are fine
The recent surge in fast-casual chain restaurant transactions was an improvement over the start of the pandemic, when they did not do as well as traditional quick service restaurants, which were well equipped to operate off-site prior to the pandemic. However, fast-casual chains quickly turned to focus on off-building operations, and when restrictions were relaxed their situation improved. In May 2021, total US fast casual chain customer transactions increased 2% compared to May 2019, and customer transactions increased in 30 of the top 50 markets from May 2019. Total US customer transactions Restaurant chains in all segments fell 9% in May 2021 compared to May 2019.
“When is the US restaurant industry going to get better?” prepared statement. “My advice to restaurant operators, food service retailers and manufacturers is to have a national perspective but act locally.”