Nearly four in 10 operators plan to invest more in off-premises dining, according to the 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry report from the National Restaurant Association
By NACS Online // April 10, 2019
WASHINGTON – Restaurant industry sales are forecast to reach $863 billion in 2019, according to the 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry report from the National Restaurant Association. The industry is forecasted to add 1.6 million new restaurant jobs by 2029.
When asked about the economy, restaurant operators are generally optimistic about business conditions. Roughly three in four operators gave ratings of “excellent” or “good” when asked to assess business conditions in the overall U.S. restaurant industry. However, operators are also acutely aware of competitive pressures, rising labor costs, a tighter labor market and a complex regulatory landscape that compounds pressure on business performance and revenue.
“The restaurant industry is on a continued growth trajectory, driven by an expanding U.S. economy and positive consumer sentiment,” said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO, in a press release. “2019 marks the association’s centennial anniversary, and the comprehensive analysis contained in this report provides a firm foundation for restaurant owners and operators to make decisions about the future of their businesses.”
Growing demand among consumers will make off-premises options important drivers across the industry in 2019. Thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults—including 50% of millennials—indicate they are more likely to have restaurant food delivered than they were two years ago. Other key takeaways surrounding off-premises and delivery include:
- Nearly four in 10 operators plan to invest more capital in expanding their off-premises business in 2019;
- Six in 10 family-dining, casual-dining and fast-casual operators say their takeout sales are higher than they were two years ago.
- A solid majority of casual-dining (72%), family-dining (63%) and fast-casual operators (64%) say their delivery sales are higher than they were two years ago. Fewer than one in 10 say their delivery sales have declined.
“Consumer demand for greater convenience and speed will continue to accelerate, and restaurants are responding by adopting and incorporating more sophisticated layers of technology into day-to-day operations,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and knowledge group for the association. “Operators across all restaurant segments will focus on building their business among millennials and younger consumers in the years ahead. To attract these digital natives, we can expect the majority of operators to get creative in offering personalized incentives, deals, loyalty programs and rewards through various digital channels.”