According to the National Catering Association predict, the restaurants in 2016 will sell 787.2 billion US dollars and employ 14.4 million people in more than 1 million places. For the information revealed today by the 2016 Catering Industry Forecast, The U.S. Catering industry will continue to be the nation’s second-largest private sector employer, offering career opportunities for 1 in 10 Americans.
“Although the whole economy is moving in the right direction, the commercial environment in 2016 is not without challenges,” said Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of Research for the National Catering Association. “following the whole contracting in some labor market, we’re finding that recruitment and retention staging a comeback as a top challenge for catering operators.
Top Catering Industry trends in 2016 include:
Not everything plain sailing. Catering operators will face some headwinds in the 2016 commercial environment. From the pressures of legislative and regulatory and modest growth of economy to the increase of labor costs and cybersecurity, new and old problems will have challenge in profit margins and chaotic operating procedures.
Labor force is getting weak. Recruitment and retention of staffs will be the biggest challenge for catering operators again, as a strict national labor market means more intense competition with employees in other industries. The labor force population structure is changing to include a greater proportion of older people, while the labor market for young people is shrinking.
Personal business. The catering industry has always been from different backgrounds of the Americans who have the opportunity to achieve and have their own business dreams. The catering industry is the locus of more and more women and ethnic-owned businesses, and many current owners are initially starting their culinary career. Eating places owned by women and ethnic minorities are still growing at a faster rate than the whole industry.
Moderate growth of sales. The catering industry will achieve the seventh consecutive year of real sales growth in 2016. Due to the local commercial environment, a large number of regional changes will continue. Fast-food service sales growth over the long-term trend of growth in sales of table services will also maintain its momentum as well as strong growth in snack and non-alcoholic beverage bars.
The pain of the technological development. The availability of technology choices begins from the novelty of many consumers to expect. In this technologically advanced competition, new systems appear in more places because guests say they want to use. However, two-fifths of consumers believe that technology makes restaurant access and sequencing more complex, suggesting that perhaps not all of these new systems are easy to use. Restaurants will focus on ending this disagreement in the coming year.
Mobile payment was endorsed. Few technologies evolve faster than payment platforms. The security and convenience are being integrated into mobile payment systems, with many wallet applications and devices coming to the market. While most consumers are still shielded about paying for meals by smart phones, more and more people say they will be using – or already in use – when this option is available, the trend is expected to keep its trajectory to 2016.
American Gourmet 2.0 .. Today’s typical restaurant guests are different from typical restaurant guests 20 years ago. In the growing nature of catering, the younger generation has a very complex worldview when refers to food. Catering operators said they had a higher expectation of their dining experience than just two years ago, and focused on everything from regular meals, sustainable development to food procurement and production. Operators will carefully measure how to satisfy these precise tastes without getting too niche or alienating more mature guests.