U.S. restaurant sales to improve in 2010


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
January 19, 2010

Good news for beleaguered restaurateurs: U.S. foodservice sales are expected to increase gradually this year.

According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2010 Restaurant Industry Forecast, released on Wednesday, foodservice sales are projected to reach USD 580 billion (EUR 411 billion) this year, up 2.5 percent from 2009. When adjusted for inflation, 2010 sales will essentially be flat, an improvement over the 1.2 percent and 2.9 percent drops in real sales in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Upward of three-quarters of the U.S. seafood supply is consumed away from home.

Continuing the trend from last year, quick-service restaurants are expected to fare slightly better than full-service, as consumers remain cost-conscious. Quick-service restaurants are projected to post sales of USD 164.8 billion (EUR 117 billion) in 2010, up 3 percent from 2009. Sales at full-service restaurants are projected to reach USD 184.2 billion (EUR 131 billion) this year, up 1.2 percent from last year.

According to the NRA, consumers will continue to seek value, convenience and expanded menu options this year. However, 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 economy recovers.

“The past two years have been a very challenging time for our industry. While there are still substantial challenges ahead, we are encouraged that the outlook is improving,” said NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. “With a total economic impact of more than USD 1.5 trillion, the restaurant industry is a strong player in the economic recovery.”

The report also states that locally sourced food, sustainability and health and nutrition will be the top menu trends this year.

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