According to Nation's Restaurant News, "Consumer spending stabilized in September at restaurants, where more robust transaction growth offset heavier declines in average checks, according to payment processor First Data. "
"In the company’s “September 2010 SpendTrend” report, which measures same-store consumer spending via credit, signature debit, PIN debit and EBT cards at U.S. merchant locations, First Data found that the month’s year-over-year dollar volume grew 7.6 percent, down slightly from August’s 7.9-percent growth rate. Transactions grew 9.2 percent from a year earlier, compared with August’s 8.3-percent rise in transactions. Yet, average tickets for all consumer spending in September were down 1.5 percent compared with a year earlier. 'This decline was the fourth consecutive month of lower average tickets,' First Data said. 'The decline in average tickets was broad-based. Consumers continued to search for discounts, which was reflected by lower average tickets and more frequent purchases.' That was especially true for the restaurant sector, which logged a 7.6-percent increase in year-over-year dollar volume growth, identical to the total spending increase across all consumer segments. Foodservice establishments posted a 12.7-percent gain in transactions for September, its highest increase in 18 months and the largest jump of any sector for the month."