Did you miss Part I of Restaurant SmartBrief’s Year-End Report? We reported the top 10 most-clicked on stories of 2010 and polled our readers to find out what they think the top restaurant trends of 2011 will be. Sign up for Restaurant SmartBrief so you’ll get Part 2 of this report, which will feature a Q-and-A with Beautiful Brands’ David Rutkauskas, business resources for restaurateurs and the results of our Year-End poll questions.
After the jump you’ll find our roundup of biggest news and trends in the industry in 2010, as published Restaurant SmartBrief’s Year-End Report, Part I.
2010 was packed with innovation and challenges in the restaurant industry, including the rise of food trucks, breakfast battles, increased food costs, iPad ordering, the BP oil spill’s effect on U.S. seafood, the Food Safety Modernization Act and more. However, the two major issues every restaurateur faced this year were the economy and health care reform.
Some operators continued to experience problems securing financing, but hiring overall is up, with restaurants and bars hiring 143,000 people so far in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Improved sales and traffic levels also boosted the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index to its highest level in three years.
Restaurants are grappling with the mandates included in the health care bill, which will require businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to offer health insurance or pay a fee. Additionally, restaurants with more than 20 locations are getting ready to post nutrition data on their menus, based on the FDA’s draft guidance.