- With the economic downturn easing, the restaurant industry is expected to show gradual improvement in 2010, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2010 Restaurant Industry Forecast.
- Restaurant industry sales are projected to reach $580 billion this year, a 2.5 percent increase in current dollars over 2009 sales. When adjusted for inflation, 2010 sales will be essentially flat, which is an improvement over the 1.2 and 2.9 percent negative growth in real sales that the industry experienced in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
- The restaurant industry remains one of the nation’s largest private-sector employers with its 12.7 million employees, comprising 9 percent of the U.S. workforce.
- Despite job losses in 2009, the restaurant industry still outperformed the national economy. Job growth is expected to resume in 2010, and the industry is projected to add 1.3 million career and employment opportunities by 2020.
- Consumers will continue to seek value, convenience and expanded menu options in 2010 — and restaurants will deliver. Consumers forced to cut back on spending say they aren’t dining out as often as they would like, and this pent-up demand will turn into restaurant traffic as economic recovery continues.
- "Word of mouth" has moved online, and more consumers use the Web to browse menus, make reservations, and get recommendations from other diners. Social media will play a bigger role in restaurant marketing efforts.
- Restaurant operators continue to step up their efforts to go green. Four of 10 fullservice and 31 percent of quickservice operators plan to devote more resources to green initiatives this year, and 4 in 10 consumers say they choose restaurants based on their conservation practices.
- Locally sourced food, sustainability, and health and nutrition will be the top trends on restaurant menus this year. Seventy percent of consumers say they are more likely to visit restaurants that offer locally produced food, and nearly three out of four say they are trying to eat healthier in restaurants now than they did two years ago.
- Ethnic cuisines and flavors are also a hot menu trend this year, including regional ethnic cuisine and fusion cuisine. Consumers are interested in trying French, Spanish, Japanese (other than sushi), Thai, Cajun/Creole, soul food and sushi.
News from our manufacturer's & re-posts from publications around the hotel and restaurant industry.