• Restaurant industry sales are projected to reach a record $899 billion in 2020, with the moderate 4% growth rate mirroring general economic conditions. 
  • Consumers will continue to be the driving force in the economy, buoyed by a healthy labor market and strong household balance sheets. 
  • Consumers’ pent-up demand remains elevated, with nearly half of all adults saying they want to use restaurants more frequently.

“Now in its eleventh consecutive year of growth, the restaurant industry is adapting to consumer preferences faster than ever before,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president, research and knowledge group, National Restaurant Association. “Consumers tell us they want to use restaurants more than they are now, and the challenge for the industry is meeting consumers where they want to be. We expect this year will see growth in off-premises options, technology that streamlines operations, and more restaurants that are talking about their increased sustainable and eco-friendly practices.”

Key findings regarding economic conditions include