Burgers fueling casual-dining lunch growth

In spite of rising beef costs, burger offerings helped casual-dining restaurants increase lunch visits by 2 percent during the year ended in June, according to market-research company The NPD Group.

As a result of their popularity, flexibility and ability to provide a beef menu item while offsetting increased commodity costs, burgers have been “heavy artillery” in the battle for casual-dining concepts to gain share of the lunch daypart from fast-casual and QSR spots, NPD Group says.

“Successful casual-dining operators offer burgers that meet the tastes of their customers and are priced competitively,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD Group restaurant analyst. “As a result, they gain lunch visitors.”

Burger orders at casual-dining restaurants were up 3 percent in the year ended in June, making burgers the only casual-dining menu category to grow in servings during that time, NPD Group data says. By contrast, burger orders at QSRs were flat during the same period.


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