Restaurant Industry Predicts High Food, Labor Costs Throughout the Year

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
February 2, 2022Business News
Restaurant Industry Predicts High Food, Labor Costs Throughout the Year
Waiter Lenworth Thompson serves lunch to David Zennario (L) and Alex Ecklin at Junior's Restaurant in New York, on Sept. 30, 2020. (Mark Lennihan/AP Photo)

The National Restaurant Association has released its annual State of the Restaurant Industry report, giving a broad assessment of trends in the restaurant industry and making numerous predictions for the near future.

The new report, released on Feb. 1, predicts slower growth in the industry in 2022, while describing many of the challenges faced by restaurants in this choleric economic situation.

The report forecasts that restaurant industry employment will rise by 400,000 jobs to a total of 14.9 million by the end of the year, making for a significantly slower growth pattern than that witnessed in 2021, when federal monetary policy and gradual emancipation from pandemic restrictions stimulated the regeneration of a battered economy.

However, restaurant operators continue to experience perturbation about the immediate future, with over half of those surveyed saying that it would take over one year for business conditions to return to normal. An astonishing 96 percent of restaurant operators claimed to experience delays or shortages of essential food or beverage items, and these disruptions are likely to remain throughout the year.

The picture is also grim from the consumer side, as many who would like to eat out are deterred by lingering pandemic fears and price inflation. According to a survey by the National Restaurant Association, 51 percent of adults said they were not eating out as often as they would like—a six percent increase from pre-pandemic levels.

The nearly two years of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic has bedeviled the restaurant industry, which has been forced to contend with intermittent lockdowns, capacity restrictions, staff and customer vaccine mandates, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions.

Many of these problems are expected to continue throughout the incumbent calendar year, causing restaurant owners to forecast troubled waters in the near future. The initial wave of CCP virus elicited the closure of 10 percent of restaurants in the United States, but those who survived have seen much recovery as conditions have improved. However, that recovery may stagger in the face of the challenges of 2022, and restauranteurs will likely experience these frustrations for the foreseeable future.

From The Epoch Times

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