Restaurant industry sales turn positive in 2011 after three tough years

As one of the largest hospitality recruiting agencies, we have our finger on the pulse of industry trends. What we are seeing are more and more concepts opening new restaurant locations nationwide. This is great news and shows not only growth but industry stability.

The nation’s 960,000 restaurants will continue to be strong contributors to the recovery of the nation’s economy, with industry sales representing 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and employees comprising nearly 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. Its total economic impact exceeds $1.7 trillion, as every dollar spent in restaurants generates $2.05 spent in the overall economy. Restaurants are the nation’s second-largest private sector employer with 12.8 million employees.

A sample of what we are seeing:

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a division of AFC Enterprises, Inc. announced the launch of an aggressive growth plan to increase its presence in Tampa. With the company’s dollar share of chicken QSR sales at a 10-year high domestically, Popeyes is poised to rapidly expand domestically and is seeking bold, passionate multi-unit operators to invest in new restaurants in Tampa. 

Wingstop has announced plans to aggressively expand its presence in the Atlanta area.  The fast-growing national chicken wing chain plans to add 20 additional locations in Atlanta over the next several years. 

Coppell TX – based CiCi’s, a rapidly-expanding 600-unit pizza, pasta, salad and dessert buffet chain, announced it has signed agreements for the addition of 16 units over the next five years and hired Wingstop veteran Bruce Evans to lead franchise sales. The moves are part of CiCi’s growth initiative, with the goal of adding 500 restaurants in the next eight to 10 years.

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