The NPD Group is a leading research company that provides data on consumer and retail markets for a wide range of industries to help its clients understand and profit from consumer and retail trends. The much-anticipated annual ReCount report showed that last year was a rough period for the independent restaurant segment that did not have the financial resources to compete with chain restaurants and lost 2% of the marketplace while the chains remained flat and somewhat stable in the same period.
Overall, it was a tough year for all restaurant segments, as the number of total U.S. restaurants dropped by 1 %, equaling a loss of over 5,000 restaurants for the year. In fact, most segments of the restaurant industry lost 1% too. Full-service restaurants, including the casual, middle and fine dining segments, also declined by 1%, accounting for 3,429 of the total number lost. The fast-food and quick-service segment also dropped by 1 percent, representing 2,122 closed restaurants.
The NPG Group also tracks consumer traffic and usage of both commercial and non-commercial foodservice outlets, and data showed that although domestic restaurant traffic in the U.S. was down overall by 1% for the year, there is hope the economy is improving and the recent numbers are much better than the 3% decline in traffic the industry experienced leading into 2009.