Growth Projections for 2011 from NRA a Three Cheers!

Full-service restaurants are expected to grow 3.1% to reach sales of $194.6 billion in 2011, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2011 Restaurant Industry Forecast released last week. Total industry sales are projected to reach a record $604 billion – a 3.6% gain over 2010, representing the first positive sales trend in three years.

That good news translates into great news for chain beverage programs. With two out of five consumers surveyed saying they are not eating out as much as they would like, restaurants are likely to benefit from what NRA senior VP of the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Research and Knowledge Group Hudson Riehle refers to as “pent-up demand” created by the economic downturn. And as consumers seek out the full-service dining experience, adult beverages can factor in as important “affordable luxuries.”

The South Atlantic region is expected to see the strongest rate of sales growth (3.9%) in the nation this year, while Texas and Florida will likely enjoy the strongest rate of job growth over the next 10 years at an estimated 17%, followed by Arizona and Alabama at 16%.

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