This Week in Foodservice provides a high-level summary of the economic data, financial news, menu updates and numerous other statistical packages and developments that impact foodservice operators, consultants, dealers, manufacturers, reps and service agents. In his weekly blog, Jerry Stiegler aggregates key industry data through his infamous Green Sheet and provides some brief analysis that will help foodservice professionals navigate the sea of information. Jerry is a long-time member of the foodservice industry, whose experience includes working for Restaurants & Institutions magazine and FE&S.
Mergers and acquisitions activities start to show signs of life for suppliers and chains alike as the economy slowly and steadily heads in the right direction.
Retail sales in February increased 1.3 percent over January's levels, according to the advance estimate from the U.S. Economic Census. Gasoline sales, up 5 percent, represents the major cause of the increase. Without gasoline, retail sales were up 0.6 percent and without gasoline and autos, retail sales were up 0.4 percent. Compared to February 2012, retail sales were up 4.7 percent.
Wall Street analysts offer their take on which publicly traded restaurant chains have the brightest outlook in the coming months.
Foodservice operators' brightened their outlook and U.S. manufacturers got a boost by companies replenishing their inventories. Despite this good news, the U.S. jobs situation remains muddled. Take it all and mix it together and you have This Week in Foodservice.
While the sequester gobbles up all of the headlines, consumers continue to come to terms with the impact the newly enacted payroll tax is having on their disposable income, including their purchases of food prepared outside of the home. As a result, expect consumers to cut back and return to their value-conscious ways.
While the month to month gains continue to inch along, the restaurant industry did enjoy a better January than in 2012.
Foodservice industry forecasts project moderate but real sales growth and the most recent earnings report from Sysco seems to fall in line with these prognostications.
The NRA's Restaurant Performance Index may have shown a relatively flat industry but foodservice professionals still have a few reasons to be optimistic.
Real growth in the restaurant industry will top out at 1.0 percent, according to the revised forecast released by Chicago-based Technomic. While the industry overall will continue to trudge along, Technomic does project a handful of segments will pick up the pace a little in the coming months.
Operational challenges continue to mount for the restaurant industry in the form of higher food and gasoline prices, low-paying job growth and more. All of this will make it more challenging for chain restaurant and other operators to exceed same-store sales numbers in the early part of the year.
Despite traveling a rocky road, it appears as if restaurants actually achieved real revenue growth in 2012. Unfortunately, it appears as if the 2013 credit market for restaurants will be as tight as it was in 2012.