Global economics and restaurant growth

Restaurant traffic increased a bit in the U.S., Canada and other developed countries during the first quarter, with the exception of Australia and several European countries, including Germany, Italy and Spain, according to NPD Group. The picture was a bit brighter when it came to the average check, which was up in all 10 countries measured, except Spain and the U.K.

“While a recovery of the global foodservice industry seemed possible at the end of 2011, lack of consumer confidence and economic uncertainty entering into the new year may have put the recovery on hold for the time being,” NPD’s Bob O’Brien said.

As restaurant chains become increasingly global and look overseas for growth, international traffic and sales patterns become more important, as a guide to potential lucrative markets and as an indicator of whether there will be enough upside in some markets to offset downward trends in others. Read More