Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA Forecasts 3.6% Foodservice Growth In 2014

The foodservice industry is expected to grow 3.6% in 2014—1.2% in real terms—according to the National Restaurant Association, which released its annual forecast Jan. 16. The forecast compares with a revised estimate for 2013 of 3.2% current dollar growth and 1% real growth. It will be the fifth consecutive year of real growth following the Great Recession.

“Despite facing a range of challenges, America’s restaurants are showing continued resiliency and innovation,” said Hudson Riehle, NRA’s senior v.p.-Research and Knowledge Group, said in the forecast release. He added, “Consumers currently have an historically high pent-up demand for restaurant services, which is likely to translate into a business boost as the economy continues to improve.”

Among the challenges facing restaurateurs and other foodservice operators in 2014, the association cited rising food costs, labor costs and the general economy.

Eating-place segments expected to experience above-average growth include limited-service restaurants (4.4%), snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars (5%) and social caterers (5%). Table-service restaurants are only forecast to grow 2.6% or 0.2% in real terms.

Other segments forecast at above-average growth include lodging restaurants (5.5%), retail hosts (5.1%), hospitals and nursing homes (5.4%) and manufacturing and industrial plants (4.5%).

The 2014 Restaurant Industry Forecast is available in NRA’s online store as a comprehensive publication as well as by section and topic. NRA members receive a substantial discount. For information, go to restaurant.org/forecast.

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