Traffic Jumps at Burger Chains

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Port Washington, New York-The quick-service hamburger category had the highest increase in traffic from September 2003 through December 2003 out of all the restaurant categories, according to the NPD Group, a market research company.

Traffic at quick-service hamburger units climbed 6 percent, and sales rose 7 percent, vs. the figure for the year-ago period. Traffic for the quick-service segment as a whole rose only 1 percent, while sales rose 3 percent. At casual-dining restaurants, traffic rose 2 percent and sales rose 4 percent, but at full-service midscale restaurants, traffic dropped 4 percent, and sales fell 2 percent.

According to the NPD, 74 percent of restaurant traffic was at quick-service restaurants, 14 percent at midscale-dining places, 11 percent at casual-dining units and 1 percent at fine-dining establishments. -Nation's Restaurant News