U.S. Restaurant Industry Forecast for 2012 — 4 Predictions to Watch

As the economy recovers, restaurant owners have become more innovative and efficient—some may even call it thrifty. Call it what you will, but the situation is still the same: restaurant owners have to find ways to deal with a hard sell and a tough environment to make a profit.

Predictions for 2012 in the Restaurant Industry

  • An Improved Customer Experience

Not only are restaurants more efficient and innovative but so are the food quality, special offers, and new products. As a result, a customer loyalty will increase for these businesses—and their profits.


  • More Financing Available

If restaurant financing and loaning continues like it did in 2011—and it should—the debt opportunities for medium to larger restaurants and franchises will increase. Lending will continue to prosper as the country still recovers during the economic downturn.


  • The Buzz about Social Media Continues

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone that is not involved in a social network, but restaurants interested in the social media networks came in droves last year. Social Media is the new word-of-mouth for restaurants, but there are techniques and etiquette to how you present yourself. Whether this will have a long term benefit is still to be seen.


  • The Role of the Restaurant becomes Invaluable

One of the largest private sector employers is the restaurant industry. They now employ close to 10 percent of the nation’s workforce. In 2011, the restaurant industry reported that all of the loss of jobs in the economic downturn have recovered. There are now over 105,000 more jobs available than there were before the recession. These figures are expected to increase, too.

Be mindful of  these four factors, and be ready to adjust to a new normal in the restaurant industry.

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