Consumers want to eat out more, contributing to a better outlook for foodservice industry

Consumer demand for the restaurant experience is strong, according to the National Restaurant Association’s Foodservice Outlook for 2023.

The industry’s post-pandemic rebound is expected to continue. The NRA’s report shows annual sales are expected to top $997 billion this year, driven primarily by higher menu prices.

The group projects the industry workforce will grow by 500,000 jobs which would bring total employment to 15.5 million by the end of the year.

Restaurant owners say food costs are a significant issue, but 84 percent of consumers tell the Association going out to eat with family and friends is a better use of their leisure time than cooking at home.