Visits to restaurants have fallen now for two straight years, although the decline lessened in the spring quarter, according to a report released Thursday by market research firm The NPD Group.
Traffic picked up for morning meals — a major focus for fast-food chains Burger King and McDonald's — but overall restaurant visits fell by 1 percent in the three-month period ending in June, the firm said. That was better than the 3 percent drop last year compared with 2008's second quarter.
Although traffic was down, spending rose 1 percent.
People have been limiting their trips out to eat to save money in the weak economy, which has hurt restaurants at all levels, from high-end to fast-food. The largest drop was in traffic at schools, universities, hospitals and other places that sell food but are not considered commercial restaurants; traffic there fell 6 percent.
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