US seafood restaurant operators have “cautiously optimistic” summer outlook

San Francisco's waterfront.

U.S. restaurant operators expect higher sales and traffic this summer, and seafood restaurant chains are likely to benefit as a result, though they’ll likely have to offer specials and discounts to lure deal-hunting customers in for a meal.

Over the past year, inflation-ravaged consumers in the U.S. shifted to preparing food at home instead of eating out to save money. But that trend could be shifting, with nearly 60 percent of restaurant operators surveyed by Datassential saying they expect more traffic and sales in the coming months. Roughly a third are already planning summer specials, deals, and discounts, as well as expanding outdoor dining capabilities, he added.

“If this year’s economic trajectory plays out similar to last year, this level of operator optimism may increase even further going into July and August,” Huy Do, research and insights manager at Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.-based food and beverage firm Datassential, told SeafoodSource.

Do said restaurateurs are still “cautiously optimistic” in anticipating a summer spike in dining out, following an annual trend in the U.S – 47 percent of restaurant operators say they usually see higher levels of sales and traffic during summer months, according to Datassential.

Do acknowledged U.S. consumers have

Photo courtesy of TMP - An Instant of Time

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