Florida restaurant industry expected to grow despite challenges

Published: Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 05:08 PM.

The state's restaurant industry is expected to post 4.5 percent sales growth this year to reach just under $34.7 million, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 Restaurant Industry Forecast.

Florida restaurants will employ 899,000 this year, and create an additional 134,600 jobs in the next decade, according to the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

2014 marks the 15th straight year in which restaurant industry employment growth will outpace overall employment growth, the national association stated. The industry will continue to be the nation’s second largest private employer with 990,000 restaurants employing 13.5 million individuals or 10 percent of the total workforce.

Operators will continue to face a range of challenges including food costs, labor costs and the economy, the nonprofit stated.

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