The holiday shopping season got off to a merry start for restaurateurs as year-over-year foodservice sales during Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday grew at a higher rate than did total sales across all retail sectors, according to First Data.
In its “SpendTrend Black Friday 2011” report, payment processor First Data found that restaurant and drinking establishment sales for Nov. 24-25 paid for with credit or debit cards rose 11.7 percent from a year earlier.
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Total sales across all retail segments, as tracked by First Data’s payment card data, rose 9.7 percent.
A major move toward stores opening at midnight after the evening of Thanksgiving led to more robust Black Friday sales this year, according to a separate study from retail-data consultant ShopperTrak. The report said total sales hit $11.4 billion this Black Friday, a 6.6-percent increase compared with a year earlier.
ShopperTrak also reported that foot traffic at malls increased 5.1 percent, compared with Black Friday 2010.
The extended shopping hours for Black Friday could have benefited quick-service and family-dining restaurants with 24-hour or late-night operations, since Thanksgiving night shoppers were more likely to be younger men, a target demographic for those kinds of restaurants, said the National Retail Federation.
NRF vice president Ellen Davis told The New York Times  that “men really aren’t willing to pull themselves out of bed at 4 a.m. for a bargain,” but they would be more open to standing in line and shopping late at night.
“Men are increasingly budget-focused and like the idea of looking for good deals,” Davis said.
First Data is a global technology and payment processing firm with U.S. offices in Atlanta, which services more than 5 million merchant locations, more than 2,000 credit and debit card issuers, and millions of consumers.