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Drive-thru? Takeout? No way. Diners prefer sitdown at QSRs.

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On-premises restaurant dining represents $28.7 billion for industry

by The NPD Group

More Canadian customers are sitting down and eating their meals in quick service restaurants than are carrying it out or using the drive-thru, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. This is good news for these operators since an on-premises visit means a higher average check size than an off-premises visit. Dine-in visits represent $28.7 billion dollars annually for the industry whereas off-premises visits represent $20.5 billion, according to NPD’s ongoing foodservice market research. 

Overall on-premises restaurant visits, which now have been flat for four consecutive years, increased by 1 percent last year over the prior year while off-premises traffic too increased by 1 percent. However, for the year ending April 2015, dine-in visits were up one percent and off-premises visits declined by three percent, according to NPD’s CREST® foodservice market research.  This suggests that on-site dining is gaining traction with consumers.

Quick service restaurants, which represent 67 percent of total commercial traffic, increased dine-in visits by 6 percent in the year ending April 2015 – the highest gain of all restaurant segments. On the other end of the spectrum, casual dining on premise traffic declined by 6 percent in the year ending April 2015. Dine-in visits at family dining/midscale restaurants also declined.  As far as reasons for selecting a restaurant, convenience is followed by brand loyalty, and price.

“The increase in on-site dining at QSR suggests that convenience is of the utmost importance to today’s restaurant consumer,” says Robert Carter, Executive Director of Foodservice with The NPD Group. “At the end of the day these customers are extremely valuable given the fact that on-premise occasions are quite lucrative. By providing quality food, good service, and an enjoyable experience, operators can increase the likelihood that consumers will stay on-site and return more often.”