NPD Reports Strong Winter Quarter


TORONTO — The mild Canadian winter may have inspired more restaurant visits, according to The NPD Group, which reports that Winter 2012 — December, January and February — was successful for the foodservice industry.

According to the research firm, total restaurant visits increased by four per cent, year-over-year during the seasonal quarter. It also marked the third-consecutive quarter of strong performance for Canada’s commercial foodservice sector.

“Winter 2012 was a strong quarter for the Canadian foodservice industry,” says Robert Carter, executive director of Foodservice at The NPD Group. “It’s often the case that foodservice improves before the economy begins to strengthen. Let’s hope the current positive trend in foodservice visits is a bellwether for better economic times ahead.”

The winter quarter realized the most notable gains in quick-service, retail and fine dining, with casual dining experiencing a modest increase and family/midscale remaining flat. Traffic growth was split among dayparts, but weekends, rather than weekdays, led traffic growth.

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