Foodservice sales to hit record $660B in 2013

This article was featured is Nation’s Restaurant News – WONDERFUL news for our industry! As hospitality recruiters, we see a growing demand for our services as well as many of our current clients expanding and opening new locations.

The U.S. foodservice industry is expected to post its fourth consecutive year of sales growth in 2013, with an estimated 3.8-percent increase in sales to $660.5 billion, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast, which will be released today.

The sales expansion expected next year from the United States’ more than 980,000 restaurants followed this year’s growth of 4.2 percent, the largest growth year following the recession-driven declines of 2008 and 2009. In inflation-adjusted terms, real sales growth in 2013 would total 0.8 percent, following 2012 inflation-adjusted growth of 1.3 percent The NRA also will note Thursday that the foodservice industry will continue to outpace the overall economy in job growth. Next year will be the 14th consecutive year that foodservice industry employment outpaces the rate of hiring for the economy as a whole, as restaurants are projected to post an employment growth rate of 2.4-percent, nearly a full point higher than the 1.5-percent increase expected for all employers.

“Ours is a resilient and flexible industry that continually finds new ways to keep growing,” NRA chief executive Dawn Sweeney said in a statement, “relying on the creativity and innovation exhibited by the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2013, restaurant operators will continue to explore ways of navigating the rocky economic landscape to find the road to success.”

All sectors of the foodservice industry, including traditional restaurants, as well as on-site facilities and military and noncommercial accounts, are expected to report nominal sales growth next year, the NRA forecasted. Social caterers and managed-services accounts at industrial plants, hospitals and nursing homes are projected to lead the way and grow sales by more than 5 percent. Restaurants serving hotels and other lodging places, as well as those in travel centers, are expected to grow near that level.

Quick-service restaurants and social caterers will power much of the commercial-restaurant sector’s projected 3.8-percent sales increase to $441.9 billion next year, which would represent 0.9-percent inflation-adjusted growth. The NRA forecast expects sales to rise 4.9 percent for fast feeders, 2.9 percent for full-service restaurants, and 0.1 percent at cafeterias and grill-buffets in 2013.

Including bars and taverns, total sales at all eating-and-drinking places are projected to increase 3.8 percent to $461.3 billion, a 0.9-percent expansion in real terms, in 2013.

“Income and cash-on-hand do remain constrained, so consumers are much more deliberative in their spending,” Hudson Riehle, the NRA’s senior vice president of the research and knowledge group, said in an interview with Nation’s Restaurant News Monday. “But the industry’s inherent strength is that consumers enjoy going out to eat and as such would act to preserve their restaurant spending.”

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