Restaurant industry sees signs of light
As a recruiting agency that specializes in the hospitality industry for 20 years, Patrice & Associates has lived through the good, the bad and the ugly. We’ve lived through 911, through gas lines, and through record unemployment. Through it all, there has always been a constant thread – the restaurant industry always bounces back. People still eat out! There may be more items on the $1 menu or the Happy Hour menu, but people still eat out. Independent resaurants have been struggling and the chains may have closed some locations and opened others, but America loves to eat out!
Nations Restaurant News reports today that our industry is definitely on the rise. Two recent surveys forecast a slightly sunnier picture for the year ahead among both consumers and franchise business leaders, providing a glimpse of clearer skies for the restaurant industry.
Last week, a key consumer barometer, The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, showed its second straight gain in two months, with the consumer outlook for the months ahead reaching a two-year high.
Last month, Darden Restaurants, Inc. said it was beginning to see signs that consumers were becoming more confident about the economy and perhaps willing to spend a bit more. “We do think that sentiment has gotten a little bit better as we look at our business across a lot of different cuts, and I would suspect that a lot of that has to do with the abatement in job losses and a little bit less concern about job security,” Clarence Otis, Darden’s chief executive, said in a conference call with investors in December.