With a number of operator indicators improving in the last quarter of 2011, we thought we’d check in with the two major groups that forecast operator sales—Technomic Inc. and the National Restaurant Association—to see if the outlook for the coming year has changed.
Not in any significant way, it appears. While NRA won’t release its 2012 Forecast until Feb. 1, Hudson Riehle, senior v.p. of the Information and Knowledge Group, told FER Fortnightly that “We expect the 2012 operating environment to be similar to 2011—modest growth with wholesale food prices still posing challenges.” Riehle added, “Pent-up demand for restaurant services remains high, indicating that consumers will increase their restaurant spending as the economy continues to recover.”
Technomic often revises its annual foodservice industry forecast in January. But not this year. The group is sticking with its original forecast, released last September. That forecast called for nominal growth of 2.8% and real growth of only 0.3%. So, in other words, more modest growth.