Restaurant sales expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2022

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Things are looking up in the restaurant world.

Restaurant industry sales are expected to hit $898 billion this year, up from $864 billion in 2019, according to the National Restaurant Association‘s State of the Industry report.

Notably, sales gains are expected to come from price increases, which are approximately 8% higher in quick-service restaurants and 6% higher in full-service restaurants compared to 2020. At the same time, the industry is much more small, with about 80,000 establishments. , than in 2019.

“Restaurant recovery continues year over year, especially compared to last year,” NPD food industry adviser David Portalatin said in a statement. Press release. “The industry recovery is not going to be a straight line moving upwards based on the nearly two years of the pandemic so far; it’s gonna be bumpy. That said, restaurant traffic is expected to recover 98% of 2019 visits by the end of 2022.”

The majority of restaurateurs expect to maintain or increase sales in 2022. Almost half expect higher sales than in 2021 and 40% expect similar levels. Four in 10 operators expect their sales to top pre-pandemic numbers, according to the report.

GEN Z BECOMES MORE INFLUENTIAL

during this time, The report also found that Gen Z consumers are much more likely to use modern innovations such as alcohol delivery than other generations, noting that 70% of Gen Zers said the opportunity to adding alcohol to a takeout or delivery order is a determining factor in their dining decisions. , reported catering company (January 31).

Additionally, more than half said they would rather order and pay with a tablet or mobile app than serving from a waiter. This is good news for Panera which has just launched the Contactless Catering Service, a new feature of the Panera mobile app that allows customers to order on their own devices for a catering service.

Overall, four in ten Gen Zers said they thought restaurants needed to add more technology, but only a quarter of all adults agreed.

EMPLOYEE VACANCY STILL A CHALLENGE

Despite cash gains, restaurants still face labor pressures. About half of operators across all segments expect recruitment and retention to be their biggest challenge this year.

Total employment in the industry is expected to reach just under 15 million jobs in 2022, only around 400,000 more than the previous year. The report also indicates that 80% of operators are paying more for labor than a year ago, and that the combined costs of food, labor and occupancy are now approximately 70 cents of every dollar generated from sales.

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