Highlights from the North American Restaurant and Foodservice 2016 Outlook

There’s good news to be had in the 2016 restaurant data so far, but there’s also a lot of data to sift through. You can read the full report here, or see some key take-aways below:

  • Employment levels and disposable income are high, riding positive tailwinds from the end of last year. The number of restaurants per-capita has also decreased steadily from a peak in 2013, meaning there is less supply to meet the growing demand.
  • A decline in oil prices is good news for restaurants’ bottom lines, but has affected the industry unevenly, creating more competition for major chains from smaller players.
  • Guest priorities include lower prices, improved healthy menu options, and a focus on food safety.
  • Quick-service-restaurants are focusing more on discounting, but guests are still most likely to use coupons and deals from restaurants they already visit frequently.
  • Most consumers support wage increases throughout the service industry, and would be willing to pay a premium toward such increases.
  • Tipping is still a controversial topic, with 65% of survey respondents saying they do not support replacing gratuity with a service charge.
  • Online and mobile ordering is the most important technological priority to restaurant guests.