2020 State of the Restaurant Industry

Now available: The essential resource for restaurant industry decision-makers

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The State of the Restaurant Industry research is the most authoritative, credible source of: 
  • The economic outlook for restaurants
  • Workforce trends to inform recruitment & retention strategy
  • The latest operation and menu trends
  • What restaurant consumers want and what they expect
This research is based on deep-dive analysis of the latest economic and demographic data supported by six extensive surveys of restaurant operators, professional chefs, and consumers. 
The State of the Restaurant Industry Report has a longstanding reputation inside and outside of the industry for the being the key resource behind informed business decisions. 
With this report you get: 
Sales & Economic Forecast
Operational Trends
Workforce Trends
Food and Menu Trends
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Top-line finds:

  • Restaurant industry sales will hit $899 billion in 2020, up 4% over 2019 (1.2% adjusted for inflation).
  • Restaurant sales will grow thanks to an expanding economy and positive consumer sentiment. Both support spending in restaurants.
  • Consumers’ pent-up demand for restaurants is high; nearly half of consumers say they aren’t using restaurants as often as they’d like.

Top-line finds:

  • Value and convenience are key drivers for business. Successful operators will find creative ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. Five key strategies are included in the report.
  • Off-premises is a major driver of business growth in 2020 and beyond.
  • Strategic use of technology gives restaurateurs a competitive edge in operations and with customers.

Top-line finds:

  • The restaurant industry is projected to provide 15.6 million restaurant and foodservice jobs in 2020.
  • Restaurants created middle-class jobs at a rate much higher than the overall economy in recent years.
  • Older adults are the fastest-growing demographic of restaurant employees, topping one million in 2020 for the first time.

Top-line finds:

  • The hottest food offerings in 2020 include plant-based proteins, healthy bowls, and global cuisines.
  • Revamped classic cocktails and innovative no- or low-alcohol beverages are on trend.
  • Consumers have more food choices than ever. What makes a difference? Healthful options, food source-transparency and a commitment to sustainability.


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