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‘What are you talking about?’

What are the issues most likely to be discussed both on and off stage during the Restaurant Leadership Conference? A recent pulse check by the National Restaurant Association reveals some reordering of the usual concerns preoccupying restaurateurs.

For one thing, the association noted in its business forecast for 2014, government activity (or presumably the lack there of) has bumped the economy as the top challenge restaurateurs are facing. Food costs fell several rungs, while recruitment jumped two places, landing just underneath the economy as the third most pressing challenge.

Here’s a complete snapshot of the industry’s concerns, taken in December, along with the rankings from a year earlier:

 Dec. 2013Dec. 2012
Government30%24%
Economy29%21%
Recruitment11%5%
Food costs10%18%
Sales volume10%10%

Source: National Restaurant Association
Percentages = proportion of restaurant respondents who cited that issue as their top concern

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