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Dealer Outlook for 2012

FE&S's Dealer Forecast Study provides insights going forward to 2012 based on 2011

Only 10 percent of dealers reported that 2011 failed to meet their expectations for sales, according to FE&S's 2012 Dealer Forecast Study. And 91 percent reported that their 2011 sales will increase (62 percent) or stay the same as 2010. However, sales have not recovered to pre-2008 levels.

Prebooked business is on the rise, with 45 percent of dealers noting an increase. Sales expectations remain positive with 92 percent of dealers projecting their sales will increase (62 percent) or stay the same. It does not appear as if one single factor is driving this positive outlook. When citing which factors will be responsible for their improved outlook 39 percent said replacement sales, 35 percent said design/build revenues and 26 percent said equipment sales related to operator renovations.

Examining the industry by segment, dealers feel that casual dining, family dining, fast casual, and healthcare offer the strongest growth potential in 2012.

The vast majority of dealers anticipate gross profits will remain the same (50 percent) or increase (35 percent). Just 15 percent anticipate a decrease in gross profits. Among those dealers projecting an increase in gross profits, the average rate is 2.78 percent.

Outlining their priorities for next year, the dealer community appears well-grounded. An overwhelming majority (73 percent) cite retaining customers as their top priority for the coming year. Other priorities include improving customer service and building market share.