Restaurant Traffic Stalls Amid Increase in COVID-19 Cases

The recovery of U.S. restaurant customer transactions slowed for the second week in a row as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in many states, according to research firm NPD Group.

For the week ending June 28, total customer transactions at major U.S. restaurant chains were down 14 percent versus the same week a year ago. For the week ending June 21, total transactions were down 13 percent versus a year ago.

Nationwide, full-service restaurants customer transactions for the week ending June 28 were down 25 percent versus the prior year and several states where COVID-19 is gaining saw the biggest declines in transactions.

The rise in COVID-19 case counts is causing local and state authorities to delay reopening, and in some cases, reinstating on-premise restaurant dining restrictions. In Texas, for example, restaurants may continue to offer on-premise dining, but capacity is rolled back from 75 percent to 50 percent. California announced last week the closing of its nearly 86,000 restaurants to on-premise dining.