The good news is that the foodservice industry seems poised to grow. The bad news is that the foodservice industry will move forward at an excruciatingly slow pace.
As foodservice companies begin their 2010 planning, two questions are top of mind: Has the 2009 economic mudslide been as severe as many foodservice professionals projected? More importantly, is it finally over?
What a difference a year makes. According to the National Restaurant Association, one year ago, only 9 percent of its members rated the economy as their top business challenge. Today, 40 percent of the NRA members surveyed said the economy is their top concern.
“You can see how dramatically the landscape has changed,” says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and information services for the National Restaurant Association.
Indeed the foodservice equipment and supplies industry landscape has changed considerably in just 12 months. A year ago, the industries experiencing the greatest pain were those tied to the financial and housing markets and economists were debating whether the U.S. economy had entered a recessionary period. Now it’s widely accepted that the economy’s in a recession, one that promises to be deeper and wider than any the United States has experienced in the past 50 years.