NRA report outlines consumers’ economic attitudes, spending plans, top restaurant preferences
In an economic climate that remains challenging, restaurant operators must understand what motivates consumers to select one restaurant over another, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast, released earlier this week.
The report, which projected that restaurant industry sales will reach a record high of $632 billion in 2012, offers insight into the minds of consumers, their financial situation and spending patterns following a year when many consumers didn’t feel the economy improved at all.
A survey in December 2011 found that 92 percent of adults described the current state of the economy as either “fair” or “poor,” the same assessment given at the end of 2010.
Their outlook for the year ahead was even less optimistic.
The report found that 3 out of 10 adults said they think the economy will get better in 2012, while a solid majority expect things to get worse (24 percent) or stay the same (44 percent).
That was similar to responses at the end of 2010, when 29 percent said conditions would improve in 2011, and 17 percent thought things would get worse.
On a more personal level, however, consumers were feeling better about their prospects with 33 percent of adults saying their household financial situation would improve this year. Only 9 percent expect their personal finances to get worse.