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Restaurant Industry Expected to Post Modest Growth in 2013

National Restaurant Association forecasts 3.38 percent increase over 2012 levels.

The National Restaurant Association projects total industry sales will reach $660 billion in 2013, according to the association's forecast for the upcoming year. This represents a projected 3.38 percent increase over this year's sales levels or 0.8 percent in real/inflation-adjusted growth. If the industry reaches these levels it would mark the fourth consecutive year of real growth, according to the NRA.

Looking at the industry on a segment by segment basis, the NRA projects sales at full-service restaurants will increase to $208 billion in 2013, up 2.9 percent from this year or 0.2 percent in real growth. In exploring the reasons for such moderate growth in this area, the NRA cited the fact that during the past five years the number of adults not using restaurants as much as they would prefer has increased by nine percent. Looking specifically at the middle class (households with an income in the $50,000 to $74,000 range), that number has increased by 13 percent, according to the NRA.

Sales at quick-service restaurants will increase to $188 billion in 2013 from $179 billion in 2012, according to the NRA's projections. This represents a 4.9 percent increase overall or 1.7 percent in real terms. And sales from managed services will increase to $45.6 billion, up 4 percent compared to 2012 or 1 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars.