Restaurant sales are expected to exceed $825 billion in 2018, according to the National Restaurant Association. In 2017, table-service restaurants had $263 billion in sales, and quick-service restaurants had $234 billion in sales.
The organization found quick-service delivery, snacks, nonalcoholic beverages, kids’ meals and global flavors are important to consumers, with sustainability, sourcing and technology being a focus for restaurants. Meanwhile, 50% of restaurateurs say high labor costs threaten their long-term success.
The top three food trends included doughnuts with non-traditional filling (64%), ethnic-inspired kids’ dishes (64%) and farm/estate-branded items (62%), according to the What’s Hot: 2018 Culinary Forecast report from the National Restaurant Association.
The top three restaurant concepts were chef-driven fast-casual concepts (70%), food-waste reduction (68%) and meal kits (62%). As for non-alcoholic beverages, the top trends included house-made/artisan soft drinks (56%), cold-brew coffee (55%) and gourmet lemonade (55%).
While 90% of Americans enjoy eating out, income issues restrict them from going to restaurants as often as they want to. In addition to table-service and quick-service restaurants, U.S. consumers are interested in restaurants specializing in snacks and nonalcoholic beverages.
The off-premise market has been an important sales driver for 10 years, and quick-service delivery, specifically, has seen the most rapid growth. There is nothing more convenient for the consumer than having a restaurant come to them, according to the National Restaurant Association. Takeout, delivery, drive-thru, curbside and food trucks are all important pieces of the off-premise market.
For the full story, go to this week’s Food Institute Report.