New data from the NPD Group for the year ended September 2017 suggests that lunch is an opportunity day part for casual dining operators, with traffic up 2.4% to 160m visits on the previous year.
While dinner is the main day part for outlets, making up 46% of visits, it has fallen in the last year by 1.4%, partly attributed to quick-service restaurants (QSR), which have seen dinnertime visits increase by 1% to 1.6bn.
Taking 30% of traffic, lunch is the second largest day part for casual dining restaurants, compared to 35% of visits for QSR.
“With consumers’ disposable income squeezed due to current economic uncertainty, lunch offers a more affordable option to eat out in the foodservice market due to its lower average eater cheque,” says NPD Group account manager Sarah Collins.
“Casual Dining outlets need to make sure they are appealing to consumers by highlighting that their menu offers quality and excellent value for money. At lunch, we also predict that click and collect will become more important in 2018.”