Restaurant sales to increase 10.2% in 2021, according to National Restaurant Association


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Sales at food and beverage establishments in the United States will increase 10.2% in 2021 to a total of $ 548.3 billion as consumers respond to pent-up demand for dining experiences that were denied to them during the pandemic, according to a forecast released by the National Restaurant Association.

The increase would follow a 19.2% drop in restaurant and bar sales in 2020, described in the association’s 2021 report on the state of the industry as “the most difficult year for the industry.” catering industry ”.

The sales rebound will be slightly stronger for full-service establishments, with the association forecasting a 10.7% increase in nominal sales for what is universally considered to be the restaurant industry hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis. . Denying the impact of inflation, places offering table service should share an increase of 7.6%, the “real” growth that some equate to traffic gains.

This compares to real growth for the entire industry of 6.7%.

Yet full-service restaurants will fail to recoup the $ 85.5 billion they collectively lost in sales in 2020 as states shut down dining rooms and consumers took shelter in their homes. Sales in this sector fell by 30% last year, or about a third.

The NRA predicts that total sales of full-service restaurants will reach $ 228.8 billion this year, up from a total inflow of $ 199.5 billion last year and $ 285 billion in 2019.

Limited-service restaurants – the researchers’ term for quick-service and casual places – will see an 8% increase in nominal sales and a 4% increase in real income in 2021, according to association data. The industry’s total input will exceed total 2020 sales for the segment by $ 23.2 billion, while exceeding the 2019 tally of $ 4.7 billion, according to the association.

The group of companies that will see the biggest increase in sales this year is also the one that has been hit the most in 2020: bars and taverns, which the association measures separately from restaurants that serve alcohol. Sales of this category will increase by 80.2% in nominal terms and 77.6% on an inflation-adjusted basis in 2021, the annual report says.

Nonetheless, that would leave industry-wide sales down about 37% from the total generated in 2019.

The restaurant association is basing its expectations for 2021 at least in part on the pent-up demand for dining out. He cites results last year that found that 83% of American adults said they did not eat at a restaurant as often as they would like.

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