According to The NPD Group, customer transactions at U.S. restaurant chains were up in January, thanks in part to milder weather in many parts of the country compared to a year ago. Last year, extreme weather conditions, including a polar vortex and above average precipitation, hindered the ability of many to frequent these establishments.

For the retail weeks ending January 6 through February 2, total restaurant transactions increased by 2 percent over the same time last year and quick service restaurant (QSR) chains were the primary contributor to these gains.

“January is historically one of the toughest months for U.S. restaurants and bad weather is usually a contributor,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “This year, however, the month’s milder weather compared to the extreme weather last year drove QSR transaction gains, which kept total industry transactions up.”