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National Restaurant Association - Research Reports

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Research Reports Provide Business Insight

The NRA produces primary research on a range of topics and publishes several reports, including free reports, online resources and for-sale publications.

The NRA's research and analysis have a long-standing reputation of the highest credibility, neutrality and accuracy both inside and outside the industry, and is considered a leading authority on industry statistics, analysis and trends. Proceeds from research publications are applied to conducting additional industry research. NRA members receive a 50-percent or more discount on all for-sale publications in the online store.

NEW - Restaurant Industry 2014 forecast and trends reports 

Restaurant Industry 2014: Sales & Economic Forecast
Section 1 of 6 of the NRA’s annual, comprehensive Restaurant Industry Forecast report on the outlook for and overview of the U.S. restaurant industry. This section provides sales projections on national and state levels and by industry segment, plus a detailed review of economic trends that affect the industry’s operating environment (including consumers’ pent-up demand for restaurant services, disposable income and other economic indicators, tourism, and F&B purchases).

Restaurant Industry 2014: Workforce Outlook & Trends
Section 2 of 6 of the NRA’s annual, comprehensive Restaurant Industry Forecast report on the outlook for and overview of the U.S. restaurant industry. This section provides employment projections on national and state levels and by position, and a detailed review of current and future workforce trends (including demographic changes to the labor pool, recruitment and retention re-emerging as a challenge, and employee turnover).

Restaurant Industry 2014: Tableservice Trends
Section 3 of 6 of the NRA’s annual, comprehensive Restaurant Industry Forecast report on the outlook for and overview of the U.S. restaurant industry. This section provides sales projections for the tableservice segment – family, casual and fine dining – and a detailed review of current and future segment trends (including top challenges, marketing, loyalty programs, competition, and customer preferences when choosing restaurants). 

Restaurant Industry 2014: Limited-Service Trends
Section 4 of 6 of the NRA’s annual, comprehensive Restaurant Industry Forecast report on the outlook for and overview of the U.S. restaurant industry. This section provides sales projections for the limited-service segment – quickservice and fast casual – and a detailed review of current and future segment trends (including top challenges, marketing, loyalty programs, competition, and customer preferences when choosing restaurants). 

Restaurant Industry 2014: Technology Trends
Section 5 of 6 of the NRA’s annual, comprehensive Restaurant Industry Forecast report [link to full report in store] on the outlook for and overview of the U.S. restaurant industry. This section provides a detailed review of current and future trends related to technology options in restaurants (including customer usage and acceptance, operator challenges to adding more technology, consumer interest by age/families with children/frequent customers, and operators’ social media use). 

Restaurant Industry 2014: Food & Menu Trends
Section 6 of 6 of the NRA’s annual, comprehensive Restaurant Industry Forecast report on the outlook for and overview of the U.S. restaurant industry. This section provides a detailed review of current and future food and menu trends (including menu trends in tableservice and quickservice restaurants, perennial favorites on menus, local sourcing, nutrition, and food trucks).

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Restaurant Industry 2020: A Snapshot of the Future

A unique futuristic study of restaurant industry trends that offers a window to future operating trends and conditions. The report explores the evolution of consumer, workforce, and operating trends to help operators plan strategically for the future.

The NRA engaged a panel of industry leaders and experts to identify and analyze how industry challenges and opportunities will evolve into the future. Among the top 25 most likely developments in 2020 are:

  • Although new technologies will offer great benefits, successful operators will retain a personal touch element.
  • Healthy eating will continue to grow.
  • Convenience stores and grocery stores will continue to expand their foodservice offerings.
  • The restaurant industry workforce will be characterized by even higher levels of diversity.
  • Electronic pay-at-table and mobile payments will be commonplace.

In addition, Restaurant Industry 2020 includes details on consumer demographic trends in 2020, including age and ethnicity, that will shape how restaurant menus and marketing will evolve. The report also covers how the labor pool will change in the next several years, indicating changes to recruitment and retention trends. 

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