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Washington Restaurant Market Watch: America Loves its Restaurants

According to the annual Gallup Work and Education Poll, restaurants are among the nation’s most highly regarded industries. And this is no fluke.

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Employee turnover rate tops 70% in 2015

The turnover rate in the hospitality sector rose for the fifth consecutive year in 2015, but remained below pre-recession levels, according to the NRA’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy.  His Economist’s Notebook commentary and analysis appears regularly on Restaurant.org and Restaurant TrendMapper.

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7 in 10 consumers still hold back on spending

Restaurants have been among the strongest consumer sectors during 2015, with sales rising in eight of the last nine months.

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Consumer sentiment holds firm during choppiness

Before October’s strong employment report, the economic narrative during last three months was marked by dampened job growth and choppiness in the stock market.

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Higher-income households surpass pre-recession levels

Higher-income households account for nearly six in 10 dollars spent in restaurants, and their numbers finally rose above pre-recession levels in 2014, according to the NRA’s chief economist Bruce Grindy.

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Restaurant industry added more than 9,000 locations in 2014

The restaurant industry added a net 9,022 establishments in 2014, which represented the fifth consecutive year with gains of at least 7,000 locations.

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Food trends to watch in 2015

Based on analysis of its annual What’s Hot culinary forecast over time, the National Restaurant Association has identified the following as trends to watch on menus in 2015

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New Research Shows Consumers Remain Cautious About the Economy and Spending but Signs Point Toward an Improving Mindset in 2015

Seven in 10 adults are holding back on spending in some fashion; Consumers are more optimistic that their personal finances will improve in 2015

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Washington Restaurant Market Watch: Big rise in use of technology in restaurants

Overall use of technology in restaurants is increasing as never before. According to a study from the National Restaurant Association (NRA), more than a third of customers say they are likelier to use technology-related options in restaurants now than two years ago.

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Restaurants are benefiting from falling gas prices

Gas prices continue to trend steadily lower, and the restaurant industry appears to be among the sectors reaping the benefits. According to preliminary figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, eating and drinking place sales totaled $48.1 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in September, up 0.6 percent from August and the strongest monthly volume on record.

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Washington Restaurant Market Watch: State’s restaurants gain 11,400 jobs since 2013

Between July 2013 and August 2014, Washington’s foodservices saw an increase of 11,400. This is an increase 5.4 percent.

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Study finds local restaurants provide pathway for American Dream

A recently released study titled, “Who Works in the U.S. Restaurant Industry,” details the opinions of nearly 5,100 Americans, ranging in age from teens to those 65 and older who occupied positions within restaurants at nearly all levels.

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Restaurant sales dip slightly in June after record high

Preliminary figures from the U.S. Census released today show that restaurant sales volume slowed slightly in June after hitting a record-high in May. Eating and drinking place sales totaled $46.8 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in June, down from May’s $47 billion, but up more than $100 million from the previous sales volume peak in March.

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Washington Restaurant Market Watch: Average U.S. tip is 18 percent, but great regional and age differences found in study

When Joe and Jane Average American go out for dinner, they will likely tip 18 percent for good service. If servers are outside the Northeast or dealing with younger customers, however, they can expect lower than average tips.

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Menu trends: local to national

A restaurant’s menu is continually evolving. The WRA keeps abreast of industry trends, both locally and nationally in order to help members understand how their businesses compare to those of their peers.