More than eight in 10 restaurant operators agree that use of technology provides a competitive advantage and plan to make investments this year, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry Report.
The annual report examines forces impacting and shaping the restaurant industry including the economy, workforce, technology, food and menu trends, as well as developments pertaining to tableservice and limited-service restaurants. The report analyzes data from a variety of nationwide surveys among restaurant owners, operators, chefs and consumers.
Must Have: Delivery
Growing demand among consumers will make off-premises options important drivers across the industry this year. Nearly four in 10 operators plan to invest more in off-premises dining.
Thirty-eight percent of U.S. adults — including 50 percent of millennials — indicate they are more likely to have restaurant food delivered than they were two years ago. Other key takeaways surrounding off-premises and delivery include:
- Six in 10 family-dining, casual-dining and fast-casual operators say their takeout sales are higher than they were two years ago.
- A solid majority of casual-dining (72 percent), family-dining (63 percent) and fast-casual operators (64 percent) say their delivery sales are higher than they were two years ago. Fewer than one in 10 say their delivery sales have declined.
Other key finding include:
- Restaurant industry sales are forecast to reach $863 billion in 2019
- Approximately half of restaurant operators rate their business as stronger than two years ago; and
- 1.6 million new restaurant jobs are projected to be added by 2029.