US restaurants are showing the strongest signs of life since the onset of pandemic-required lockdowns in March, according to data released Tuesday by market research firm The NPD Group.

In the week ending Aug. 16 customer transaction declines at major restaurant chains improved into the single digits after 21 weeks of double-digit declines.

“Although transactions are still down, the move into the single digits is a positive sign for the US restaurant industry,” said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America.