Foodservice Industry Sales Increased for Third Straight Month

Inflation may finally be slowing down as the consumer price index for all items rose by 7.7 percent in October, the smallest increase in the past 12 months.

Energy saw the largest increase among all categories, rising by 17.6 percent since October 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Food prices saw the next largest jump, at 10.9 percent year-over-year. However, both increases were smaller than in September.

Although slowing, inflation remains historically high. But that does not appear to be dissuading diners yet. Eating and drinking places registered $89.5 billion in seasonally adjusted sales in October, the third consecutive month of sales gains and a 1.6 percent increase from September. The National Restaurant Association notes that much of that growth was due to rising menu prices rather than more customers. When adjusting for menu price increase, eating and drinking place sales were flat between April and October.

The National Restaurant Association surveyed 1,000 adults between Nov. 11-13 and found that 16 percent are confident in their financial situation and are not holding back on spending. The majority of consumers are proceeding with some degree of caution, with 47 percent of adults taking a wait-and-see approach to the economy. On the other end, 37 percent of consumers said they were very concerned about the economy and are holding back significantly on spending.