According to the NPD Group, with nearly 320,000 restaurant units in the US now allowed to offer some level of on-premise dining, customer transaction declines at major restaurant chains continued to improve in the week ending May 24.

Total major restaurant chain transactions declined by -18% in the week compared to same week year ago, a +25 point gain from the steepest decline during the coronvirus pandemic of -43% in the week ending April 12, according to CREST Performance Alerts.

Major full-service chain restaurant transactions declined by -42% versus same time year ago, a +7 point improvement from the prior week’s decline of -49% from year ago. Transactions at quick service restaurant chains were down -17% in the week ending May 24 compared to same week year ago, improving from the -20% decline in the prior week.

Digital orders grew by 106% in April compared to year ago and now accounts for 20% of all restaurant occasions.

“Among the most interesting behaviors we’re seeing is the rapid escalation of using technology to engage with restaurants,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America.  “Going forward, we might expect a digital divide that sets apart restaurants with well- executed digital offerings and requires those without to turn to the newfound prowess of third-party platforms.”