The National Restaurant Association has released its annual Restaurant Industry Forecast, and the news aint all that good, but it aint bad, either: For only the second time in nearly half a century, the restaurant industry lost jobs in 2009. Despite the losses, the industry still outperformed the national economy, and job growth is expected to resume in 2010, reads a release that goes on to predict (like everyone else has) that this years trends will be sustainable and healthy foods, locally sourced food and drink, green practices, value-driven menus with more options, and social-media marketing. The bottom line: 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 percent and 2.9 percent negative growth in real sales that the industry experienced in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
Restaurant Industry Outlook Brightens in 2010 as Sales, Economy Are Expected to Improve [National Restaurant Association]