While the U.S. economic recovery remains fragile, we find much for the restaurant industry to celebrate. Packaged Facts' Foodservice Landscape forecasts restaurant growth of 4.2% in 2012, on the heels of 6% market growth in 2011.
Nonetheless, the industry continues to face significant challenges. For the past three years, guest traffic volume has come entirely from population growth, not usage increase. Restaurant operators across restaurant segments must also contend with the increased numbers of lower-spending guests and with the loss of higher-income patrons, which has translated to higher volume but lower guest check averages.
Food commodity price increases could also threaten the continuation of the 2010-2011 sales recovery. And while our analysis calls into question the impact of consumer confidence on guest visit frequency, further declines in the unemployment rate are needed to spur restaurant industry growth, as our analysis supports a relationship between the unemployment rate and guest visit frequency across a range of restaurant segments.
This report provides the guidance industry participants need to understand industry and consumer trends shaping the U.S. foodservice landscape, including the quick-service, fast casual, family, casual and fine dining restaurant segments:
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