Consumer credit- and debit-card spending in restaurants and bars grew by 9.5 percent in October year-over-year, the highest growth in more than 18 months, according to payment processor First Data.
However, the average ticket remained in negative territory for the month, the Atlanta-based electronic commerce and payment processor said.
In its October 2010 “SpendTrend” report, First Data analyzed debit, EBT and credit card spending across retail sectors and found that card spending slowed overall. October’s same-store dollar volume growth was 6.7 percent, down from 7.6 percent growth in September.
Consumers appeared to return to their more cautious ways after spending a little more for back-to-school items in September, the report said. Comparisons also were more difficult in October, as the same month last year marked the beginning of the economic recovery.
“Despite continued discounting of prices, consumers remained concerned about the economy and high levels of unemployment,” the report said.
Eating and drinking establishments fared better than other retail sectors last month, however, and the 9.5 percent growth in dollar volume in October was higher than the 3.8 percent growth in supermarkets and grocery stores, the 5.2 percent growth in retail, and the 6.9 percent growth in hotel spending.
The report concluded that consumers are continuing to dine out and respond to promotions in restaurants.
Transactions within restaurants and bars in October also grew by 12.6 percent — slightly down from the 12.7-percent increase in transactions in September. However, the average ticket for the sector decreased in October to a negative 2.7 percent.
Still, October’s decline in the average ticket in the foodservice sector was an improvement over 4.5-percent dip reported for the previous month.
For all sectors analyzed in October, average tickets dropped 1.7 percent, marking the fifth consecutive month of negative year-over-year growth and the worst decline rate since November 2009, the report said.
Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].