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2017 In-Review

National Restaurant Consultants president David Kincheloe reviews how our 2017 trend predictions added up

By David Kincheloe - December 13, 2017


At National Restaurant Consultants, we are proud to provide Top Trends predictions for each year. As we gather all of our data for our 2018 Trends, I realized we'd be remiss to not review the biggest trends of 2017 to see how our predictions added up.

The result? Our restaurant consultants continue to be experts, spot-on with the directions the restaurant business continues to travel each year. We can also assess where our predictions weren't entirely accurate and take into account why we missed. Below I've taken some of these 2017 trends, a year-in-review, knowing that this information will inform our 2018 trends, and, hopefully, drive the way you manage your restaurant business in the coming year as well.
  • To start 2017, we estimated about a 4% growth in overall restaurant sales, topping out around $815billion. Actual current estimates from the end of November: $782billion, meaning the increase was only about 2.2%. The biggest factor affecting sales growth were the number of natural disasters that impacted various areas of businesses through the spring and summer. In October, we saw a strengthening, with increased same-store sales. Food sales outside the home represented nearly 52% of total food sales, which was right in line with our sales predictions.
  • The trend toward fresh and clean foods continues, and it shows no signs of weakening any time soon. Not only does this match-up with our 2017 predictions, expect it to pop up in our 2018 Top Trends as well. Currently, food purveyors are scrambling to get these local, healthy chains established.
  • We began 2017 still carefully following the movements of the Millennials, the young, trend-setting group that is important to keep happy. With the start of 2018, we'll see the older end of that group enter middle-age; but that's not changing their behaviors. They're still holding the standard high, and they're still spending money where those expectations met. What is different? They're tastes are now becoming more refined. They are still and will continue to spend more and more dollars outside of the home, now with an increasingly specific idealogy of what makes a good restaurant experience.
Soon, we will have 2018 Top Trends for your review; it's free information that we are happy to provide, and we're proud to stand behind the expertise of all of our restaurant consultants. With this in mind, and moving into the coming year, consider how our consultants might be of service to you and your business. Contact us any time to tap into a wealth of knowledge that your restaurant can only benefit from.

Photo by Josh Boot on Unsplash