Predictions for growth

Predictions for growth

Predictions for growth
We all want to know what the future holds for the fooservice industry, some burning questions include. What will 2019 and beyond look like for foodservice operators? What sale and traffic improvements can operators expect for the remainder of 2018 and the future? Which segments are seeing and will continue to see the most growth? Will there be acceleration in growth and what markets will see the greatest growth in the next five years?

According to Foodservice Equipment Reports (FER) Magazine 2018 Forecast, total growth for foodservice sales slowed through 2016 and 2017. Full Service Restaurants saw a decline in visits while Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) saw some increase in traffic, creating an overall industry flat growth rate for this two-year timeframe. Industry experts speculate that the improving economy created over development lead to market saturation leading to the flat growth rate.

While the last two years were a bit stagnant, the first two quarters of 2018 are looking bright and creating renewed optimism for the foodservice industry. Big QSRs posted strong first quarter in 2018 and FSRs saw improvements in Q1 as well, with continued improvement into Q2, according to industry experts which have led to revised positive forecasts for the remainder of 2018. Technomic Inc. increased its 2018 forecast to 4.1% nominal growth from 3.6% in its May 2018 revision and preliminary 2019 forecast is expected at 4.1%.

Delivery is the bright spot for many restaurants including FSRs as consumer age 18-34 have reduced their spending in FSRs and don’t frequent Limited Service Restaurants as often as other age groups. While still only 3% of traffic for FSR’s delivery is gaining traction as restaurants in all segments focus on new ways to increase sales and meet the changing demands of their customers and combat growing competition from outside segments.

Breakfast options have seen big growth, with the announcement of all-day breakfast by McDonald’s was a seismic shift in the industry and has brought about the rise of breakfast focused restaurants. FER 2018 Forecast reports a resurgence in Family Dining thanks to these breakfast concepts with Denny’s leading the way with innovative breakfast related menu items and promotions.

Labor remains top of mind for operators as it has for years. Operators across all segments have been concerned with the rising cost of labor and the decrease in skilled labor. Minimum wage increase and low unemployment rates have added to the labor concern. A recent National Restaurant Association survey reports employee recruitment as the number one issue facing operators as they compete to find, train and retain qualified employees who will provide top quality service and product. Operators are looking for alternative options including technologically advanced equipment that allows for fast training, consistent products and is connected so it can be monitored from anywhere.

Overall the foodservice industry is showing steady growth for the remainder of 2018 and it is predicted to remain that way through 2019. FER 2018 Forecast predicts that starting in 2020 growth rates will increase as global expansion continues to be a focus for larger chains as larger markets stabilize.

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