Hudson RieHle, Senior VP, Research & Knowledge Group, National Restaurant Association, predicts that the oPeRATinG enViRonMenT FoR ResTAuRAnTs in 2014 will continue on the same positive – but modest – growth path. “Overall, we’re certainly not looking at a rebound to prosperity, but things are headed in the right direction. Last year was the fourth consecutive year of growth for the restaurant industry, although modest. Moving into 2014, economic indicators such as real domestic product, real
disposable income, and employment growth remain positive.” Employment growth – which Hudson says shows signs of being somewhat higher in 2014 – is especially key for the industry because even a small uptick in employment translates into a greater ability for consumers to spend in restaurants.