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QSR Industry Eyes $188B Growth in 2013

NATIONAL REPORT -- Quick-service restaurants (QSR) will earn an estimated $188.1 billion throughout the United Stated in 2013, according to the National Restaurant Association's (NRA) 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast. The $188 billion figure would represent a 4.9-percent improvement compared to 2012.

The NRA predicted revenues in the entire restaurant industry will reach $660 billion next year, or $1.8 billion a day, making it larger than 90 percent of world economies.

The NRA also noted that one-quarter of QSRs and one-third of fast-casual operators believe the economy will improve in 2013. Twenty-eight percent of QSRs and 18 percent of fast-casual establishments expect the economy to worsen.

Consumers have a different view of the economy however. According to the NRA, personal income is expected to grow by just 1.5 percent in 2013.

"From the restaurant industry perspective, this is important because there always has been and will continue to be a very strong correlation between growth in incomes and growth in restaurant usage," Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and knowledge for the NRA, said in a webcast, reported QSR magazine. Riehle added that restaurants will employ 13.1 million people in 2013, and one out of every 10 individuals will be directly employed in the restaurant industry.

Frequency of visits is a main reason why the NRA expects sales figures to rise in 2013. The forecast predicted that the average adult will visit a restaurant 5.2 times per week, and repeat business will account for 71 percent of QSR sales.

As for obstacles, 26 percent of QSRs told the NRA they believe rising wholesale food costs will be the No. 1 challenge they face in 2013. The NRA expects wholesale price inflation to stand at 4.2 percent in 2013.

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