Colorado restaurants are expected to have stronger sales in 2013 than last year, data released by the National Restaurant Association shows.

Colorado also is expected to outpace the national average in disposable income, employment and population growth, said Peter Meersman, Colorado Restaurant Association President and CEO.

“Disposable income is expected to advance 2.5 percent in Colorado in comparison to 1.5 percent nationally, total employment growth at 1.9 percent will surpass the national average of 1.5 percent and we will again have population growth,” he said. “Those three things add up to more restaurant sales statewide.”
Colorado restaurant sales are expected to increase from $9.10 billion in 2012 to $9.46 billion in 2013, an increase of 4 percent, which places Colorado sixth in the country in restaurant sales growth. Nationally, industry sales are projected to reach $660.5 billion this year.

According to the NRA’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast, the food service industry in Colorado will employ 239,400 workers, up from 237,000 in 2012.

The restaurant employment data released also takes a look forward into 2023. Colorado is
predicted to add 32,600 restaurant industry jobs over that period of time, from 239,400 in
2013 to 272,000 in 2023 – a 13.6 percent total increase, with an annual average increase of1.3 percent.

“This is good news for restaurant operators, our 239,400 employees, and our 2 million daily customers,”  Meersman said. “2013 will be a good year in terms of sales growth and pent-up demand for the food, service and social outlet that Colorado restaurants provide.”

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