Are Price Hikes Killing Lunch?

September 13, 2016

Menu-price increases are eating restaurants’ lunch. Data from The NPD Group find that lunch, which accounts for 33% of foodservice traffic, has been losing customers for two quarters. The damage to the business is largely self-inflicted: NPD says consumers are being priced out of lunch, especially in fast-casual concepts.

For the quarter ended in June, lunch traffic was down 4%–and down 7% on weekdays—compared with a 1% decline in dinner visits and a 1% increase at breakfast. Why? Reports NPD, “The rise in employees working at home and more shopping online, which cuts down on foodservice meal and snack breaks,