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12 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • MARCH 2017 people & events Quick-service restaurants realized no traffic growth in 2016 and total food- service traffic dipped slightly, reports The NPD Group. Visits to full-service restaurants also declined last year. Lunch visits, which represent the largest daypart in terms of traffic share, declined by 2 percent at QSRs and all other foodservice outlets. Among the reasons lunch traffic is down are a smaller labor force participation rate, an increase in number of employees working from home, and more con- sumers shopping online and not grab- bing a meal while they're out shopping. Weekend, dinner, and independent restaurant visit declines also prevented the industry from growing last year. Though U.S. foodservice traffic isn't growing, there were still close to 62 billion visits made to restaurants and other foodservice outlets last year, reports NPD Group. QSR consumer spending increased by 3 percent and by 2 percent for the total industry. All spending gains were driven by an increase in average eater check size. Other industry bright spots last year were the continued strength of morn- ing and afternoon snacks, drive-thru visits, combo meal deals, and an in- crease in breakfast food servings. Takout Occasions on the Rise Takeout has the potential to build addi- tional traffic and sales, not cannibalize dine-in revenue, says Technomic's Anne Mills, manager of consumer insights. The research firm's 2016 Takeout & Off-Premise Dining Consumer Trend Report offers insights into what's driv- ing off-premise growth. One key takeway: Consumers currently say they are more likely to order carryout or delivery through a restaurant's mobile app or website than through an online ordering platform. Additionally, more 18-34 year olds re- port they are using third-party delivery more often today than a year ago. In a separate Technomic survey, the highest usage rates for third-party delivery services were among quick- service and casual-dining operators. Nearly one quarter (23 percent) of the independent and small chain restaurant operators surveyed indicated using at least one third-party delivery service. –Tom Parker President GenX Consultants Design Smarter, Draw Faster and Quote Better in 3-D. AQnet.com. Follow AutoQuotes @AutoQuotesInc @AutoQuotesInc /AutoQuotes /AutoQuotes Visit our new website at The leading catalog and quoting application for the Foodservice Equipment and Supplies Industry; Serving manufacturers, reps, dealers and consultants for more than 26 years. AQ Designer allows us to tie the quotes to the designs that we have. It improves everything that we do on a day-to-day basis. Now Available: U.S. Quick-Service Restaurant Traffic Growth Stalls in 2016