La. restaurants expected to lead industry growth this year
Despite sluggish recovery in the nation's economy at large, the restaurant industry is projected to tally record sales in 2012, according to the National Restaurant Association's 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast. Total sales are expected to reach a record high of $632 billion in 2012—a 3.5% increase over 2011—making it the second consecutive year that industry sales top $600 billion. Of the nine U.S. regions into which the NRA is divided, the Southwest—which includes Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas—is forecast to lead the sales growth, with a projected 3.9%. According to NRA data, Louisiana's restaurants hit $6.2 billion in sales last year, and the 182,200 people working in the industry represented 9% of all employment in the state. The industry is expected to expand by 9.5% over the next decade, with 17,300 jobs added. Get more details on the NRA's 2012 forecast at its website here.
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