Make no mistake about it. A big boom is taking place in American restaurants. Consider this one fact that was reported in Bloomberg Markets on April 14, 2016 . . .
“Americans’ spending on dining out just overtook grocery sales for the first time ever.”
You didn’t misread that statement. Americans are now spending more on restaurant meals than they spend on groceries. Perhaps that is due to a changing American lifestyle in which working parents lack the time to prepare family meals – or in which people without families simply find it easier to grab and go with meals they pick up at health clubs or fast casual restaurants.
Whatever the causes of this trend may be, it is really happening. Here are some additional statistics compiled by the National Restaurant Association for its 2016 Restaurant Industry Pocket Factbook:
- 50% of all Americans say that going to restaurants is “part of their lifestyle”
- 80% of American consumers say that dining out with friends and family is “a better use of their time” than cooking and cleaning up at home
- 75% of all smartphone users look at restaurant menus on them “at least a few times a year”
- Total U.S. restaurant industry sales are now $782.7 billion
- More than 1 million restaurants are now open for business in the U.S.
- Those restaurants employ 14.4 million people
- Restaurants are projected to hire an additional 1.7 million new employees by year 2026
Is Your Business Part of the Boom?
Today, Americans want to order and consume food just about everywhere they go – in health clubs, hotels, highway rest stops and food courts at shopping malls. And “dining in” is only part of the trend, because Americans are also ordering prepared foods at fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants, casual dining restaurants, buffet-style restaurants, fine dining restaurants, ethnic restaurants, coffee bars, hotel breakfast rooms and snack and juice bars in health clubs. They’re using apps to order food for delivery or pickup. Plus, more and more Americans are picking up prepared meals in supermarkets and taking them home.
The Dangerous Side of the Boom
All those statistics and facts spell new opportunities for any company that prepares and sells beverages and food – maybe your company? But here are some statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that underscore how imperative it is for your training to cover the proper procedures and protocols of handling food safely:
- 33 million Americans contract food-borne illnesses when eating in restaurants
- 325,000 people every year are hospitalized because of food-borne illnesses
- 5,000 people every year die from those illnesses
- The spread of germs from the hands of food handlers accounts for 89% of all foodborne illnesses that are contracted in restaurants
Is Your Current Training Up to Standards?
If you are you in the business of serving food and beverages to the public, we would like to offer you a complimentary copy of Six Critical Skills for Restaurant Food Safety Training, the latest eBook from Tortal Training. CLICK HERE to download your copy.