Consumer Trends

The forecast looks sunny for a strong summer dining-out season

Data from Amex Trendex shows that consumers are eager to visit restaurants in the next few months.


Restaurants continued adding jobs in May

The industry added another 46,100 jobs last month, according to new federal data, but remain 700,000 short of pre-pandemic levels.

The Bottom Line: On Thursday, Macy’s said its consumers were fine, while Burlington said its consumers were not, showing that inflation is first taking its toll on lower-income customers.

A growing number of analysts and executives expect the economy to slow down or contract as the U.S. Federal Reserve raises rates. Here’s what it means for restaurants.

Operators take a cue from QSRs, promoting early evening specials, breakfast and dinner bargains, and other inflation-fighting deals.

Prices at table-service locations increased 8.7% year over year last month, and food-away-from-home inflation rose 7.2%. But grocery prices increased even more.

Shares of restaurant companies have lost nearly a quarter of their value so far this year amid higher interest rates and recession fears. Winners remain few.

The industry added 43,800 workers last month, continuing its gradual recovery from post-pandemic job losses. But the rate of growth is slowing.

The Bottom Line: Tucked in the company’s earnings are signs that some consumers are cutting back. The burger giant’s executives believe they need to have some value to keep them coming.

The Bottom Line: A analysis found customers are less willing to drive long distances to visit Sonic or The Cheesecake Factory, suggesting a quiet impact of inflation on dining habits.

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