Fast Casual: New research shows steep decline in lunch traffic
Fast Casual: New research shows steep decline in lunch traffic

Lunch sales are suffering as more consumers work from home and shop online.

Lunch sales in the food service industry are not looking good these days. According to a recent Fast Casual article, research from the NPD Group found that lunch visits fell 4 percent compared to same period one year ago and it was the steepest drop of all main meal day-parts served in restaurants.

Why is this happening? The increase in people shopping online and working from home are a few contributing factors that researchers have identified. NPD reported that the number of people working from home has increased 24 percent in the last decade. There are simply less opportunities for those at home to go out to lunch with coworkers, meet up for coffee, or head to the drive-thru.

Menu price increases certainly are not helping either. "Historically, food service lunch has been the occasion where consumers didn’t want to invest a lot time, money or energy into this meal. It's apparent by the drop in lunch traffic that the current value proposition isn't meeting these needs," said NPD Group restaurant industry analyst Bonnie Riggs.

Consumers can look out for plenty of deals and value meals from restaurants to help boost sales for now, while restaurant operators focusing on breakfast or dinner should look to take advantage of this trend and provide those who are saving on lunch the idea that they can splurge on other meals.

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