A report by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) has projected the creation of 1.6 million new restaurant jobs in the US by 2029.

According to the 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, the restaurant industry sales are estimated to reach $863bn during this year.

Analysis of data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey has shown that restaurants have added jobs at a rate more than three times stronger than the overall economy, with annual incomes ranging from $45,000 to $74,999.

The report noted that the number of restaurant jobs in this income range increased by 71% between 2010 and 2017.

Nearly 50% of the restaurant operators agreed that their business is stronger than it was two years ago with three in four operators giving ratings of ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

Four in ten operators agreed that they plan to invest more to expand their off-premises business this year.

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Around 72% of casual-dining, 63% of family-dining and 64% of fast-casual operators agreed that their delivery sales are higher than they were two years ago. However, one in ten of these operators noted that their delivery sales have declined.

“Around 72% of casual-dining, 63% of family-dining and 64% of fast-casual operators agreed that their delivery sales are higher than they were two years ago.”

In addition, more than eight in ten restaurant operators agreed that technology use has boosted their business.

Furthermore, around 70% of quick service restaurant (QSR) operators are planning to invest in front-of-house, customer servicing technologies such as online or app ordering, mobile payment, delivery management and reservations.

Other technologies restaurant operators are expected to invest in back-of-house technologies such as point-of-sale (PoS), inventory and table management, customer-facing tech devices such as tablets, iPads, tableside ordering, and kiosks.

NRA has collected and analysed data from various nationwide surveys among restaurant owners, operators, chefs, and consumers to conduct the survey.

The association has taken into account various forces impacting and shaping the industry such as the economy, workforce, technology, food and menu trends, and developments related to table service and limited-service restaurants.