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Consumer Trends

Families with Children Return to Restaurants

After three years of dramatic recession-induced decline, families—with their kids in tow—started returning to restaurants this summer. Though the numbers are still not near where they were in the Fall of 2006, the positive uptick shows that restaurant business is beginning to pick up for families with children, reports The NPD Group in its foodservice market research.

  • Parties with kids increased 1% in the quarter ending in August 2010 compared to 2009
  • Late summer and early fall of 2009 were the lowest numbers for families with kids frequenting restaurants, and a significant percentage increase has been slowly inching up since then
  • Even with visits down, families with children accounted for $70 billion in sales and 14 billion meals or snacks served in 2010

“Although the visits increase reflect just one quarter, the return of parties with kids is another sign that business is beginning to pick up for the restaurant industry," said Bonnie Riggs, NPD's restaurant industry analyst. "Parties with kids are integral to the industry and make a significant contribution in both volume and sales."

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