NPD: Demand for Meal Deals in Casual Dining Continues to Rise

According to Nation's Restaurant News, " From Ginsu knives sold via infomercials in the 1970s to the fast-food combo meals first introduced in the early 1990s to today’s telecommunications “triple plays” in which Internet, cable and phone services are bundled together, Americans have always loved a packaged deal. Add a recession into the equation, and the passion mounts for several items at one seemingly low price."

Deal-driven traffic grew in 3rd Q, while nondeal visits dropped
Percent change in traffic vs. year ago

"" SOURCE: THE NPD GROUP/CREST®

"Casual-dining chains discovered the power of the packaged deal this summer when they introduced a variety of bundled or multiple meal deals that notably increased customer visits, said officials at market research firm The NPD Group. These deals this summer really resonated with [consumers] and piqued their interest,” said NPD analyst Bonnie Riggs. “We all know that everybody’s been dealing, but I don’t know that [operators] know that it’s been working.' According to new data from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD, third-quarter weekend dinner traffic in the casual-dining sector, the segment’s largest daypart, rose 3 percent. The only other dayparts that grew traffic for the segment were weekday morning meal and snack. Combined traffic for these in-between meal occasions was up 3 percent. In contrast, casual-dining weekday dinner traffic declined 10 percent, weekday lunch traffic declined 8 percent and weekend lunch traffic declined 3 percent."