Restaurant Sales Keep Positive Trajectory

A report from the National Restaurant Association shows sales, adjusted for inflation, increased 4.2% during the last 10 months.

Restaurant Sales2023WEB
Photo by Ali Inay on Unsplash.

Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association, recently told FER that “the consumer continues to hold restaurant spend in a preferred and in many cases, essential category.” The statement seems to ring true when looking at organization’s latest report, based on preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report shows a 10-month streak of restaurant sales growth, with December 2023 sales at $94.6 billion—up slightly from $94.5 billion the month prior and $93 billion in October 2023. Before sales gained steam in early 2023, sales in the last quarter of 2022 averaged $85.3 billion.

“In total during the last 10 months, eating and drinking place sales increased 8.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis,” points out the National Restaurant Association in a release. “That was well above the 2.4% sales gain in non-restaurant retail sectors during the same period. … After adjusting for menu price inflation, eating and drinking place sales increased 4.2% during the last 10 months.”

For more insight from the association and other industry analysts, see FER’s 2024 State of the Industry coverage.



Restaurant Industry Sales Forecast to Set Record

Operators are cautiously optimistic, with nearly 8 in 10 predicting their sales will increase or hold steady.

2024 State of the Industry

2024 State of the Foodservice Industry

As the industry normalizes, expect moderated sales growth, tamed inflation and a more stable job market.

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