Home » 2020 State of the Restaurant Industry Report
The National Restaurant Association released its 2020 State of the Restaurant Industry Report which examines key factors impacting the restaurant industry including the current state of the economy, operations, workforce, and food and menu trends across segments from quick-service to fine dining. The report is an authoritative look at the industry and its challenges and opportunities based on a range of national surveys of restaurant owners, operators, chefs and consumers.
Restaurant industry sales are projected to reach a record $899 billion in 2020, with the moderate 4% growth rate mirroring general economic conditions.
Consumers will continue to be the driving force in the economy, buoyed by a healthy labor market and strong household balance sheets.
Consumers' pent-up demand remains elevated, with nearly half of all adults saying they want to use restaurants more frequently.
"Now in its eleventh consecutive year of growth, the restaurant industry is adapting to consumer preferences faster than ever before," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president, research and knowledge group, National Restaurant Association. "Consumers tell us they want to use restaurants more than they are now, and the challenge for the industry is meeting consumers where they want to be. We expect this year will see growth in off-premises options, technology that streamlines operations, and more restaurants that are talking about their increased sustainable and eco-friendly practices."
Opportunity lies in off-premises
Off-premises will be a prominent force of growth in 2020. To be successful, restaurant operators will look to strike the perfect formula of on- and off-premises for their business as consumers strive for convenience, but continue to look to the social escape that restaurants provide. When asked about ways in which restaurants could incorporate more technology, consumers primarily mention frictionless, convenience- and service-enhancing items, rather than people-eliminating items. Other key takeaways on operations include:
Restaurant operators are generally positive about business conditions, but they anticipate ongoing challenges that impact both the top and bottom lines.
Off-premises will be a major driver of sales growth in 2020 and beyond, and many restaurant operators are devoting more resources to this side of their business.
Restaurant operators agree that the use of technology provides a competitive advantage, and as such are investing in customer-facing technologies that will enhance service and convenience for their guests.