Data points to strong restaurant industry

May 27th, 2016 | By | Category: National News, Regional News, Restaurants

By Sarah Glenn
For the Journal

Restaurant WaiterAs a slew of new eateries spring up across southeast Idaho, some wonder if we have the population (and the appetite) to support the growth. According to industry research firm Alix Partners, all indications point to yes.

In 2016, more than a dozen new restaurants are opening (or have opened) in the Pocatello/Chubbuck area. Taking a look at the national restaurant industry picture, the data says it’s a good time to be in the business – especially for all the sit-down, dine-in restaurants we see appearing around town.

Alix’s April 2016 Viewpoint on Food and Restaurant Report says, “In the first months of 2016, the US restaurant, food, and beverages industries posted solid results.”

The growth was attributed to “momentum established in 2015 by overall strong macroeconomic factors, including positive consumer sentiment and low commodity and gas prices.”

This was especially true for the fine dining, casual dining, and fast casual segments of the restaurant industry. According to Alix, those each had positive sales growth in 2015.

Nationally, restaurants are also paying less for their staple ingredients. Alix looked at the price of meats, cheese, milk, grains, corn and the diesel used by the trucks to ship those products. All in all, their cost was down 14 percent, to levels that the data crunchers had not seen since March 2010. Beef prices (-28%) and diesel prices (-25%) represent the biggest year-over-year declines.

Overall, the Alix report says that U.S. restaurant industry sales are expected to grow 5 percent from 2015 to $782.7 billion in 2016. Propping up that expectation is a strong record of revenue growth. Restaurant revenues jumped to $782 billion, so far, in 2016. In 2010, that number was closer to $586 billion. Prior to the recession, in 2000, revenues were closer to $379 billion.

Several big players in the restaurant industry posted gains during the first quarter of 2016. Buffalo Wild Wings, for example, experienced a 19.9 percent quarterly revenue growth. Other local eateries that experienced quarterly growth include Dominoes Pizza (15.3 percent), Panera Bread (2.9 percent), Sonic (4.3 percent), Texas Roadhouse (12.3 percent) and the future Red Robin (1.5 percent) and Noodles and Company (7.9 percent).

For the full report, visit Alix Partners

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