Breakfast was the bright spot for restaurants in 2013, according to new data from The NPD Group.
Customer traffic declined 1% at both lunch and dinner last year, but breakfast saw a 3% increase in customers. Then PM Snack daypart was up 1%.
This was the third consecutive year of positive customer growth for breakfast, which had been the weakest restaurant daypart as recently as 2009. Each of the other three meal period has seen only one positive performance over the past four years.
Quick-service restaurants drove the morning daypart with a 4% increase for the 12 months ended in December 2013. At midscale/family-dining restaurants, 3% fewer customers came for breakfast in 2013 compared with the previous year.
NPD forecasts a 7% growth in breakfast traffic over the next nine years, with QSR again outpacing the industry with a 9% increase. Taco Bell’s plan to take its breakfast program national should help the QSR total.
“Breakfast continues to be a bright spot for the restaurant industry as evidenced by the number of chains expanding their breakfast offerings and times,” said Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “A restaurant morning meal serves a variety of needs. In addition to helping us jump start our day, it satisfies the need for convenience, is less costly than other restaurant meals, and is readily available to us.”