As restaurant industry outlook improves, summer forecast shows positive growth

Washington, D.C.  (  Restaurants are expected to add 428,000 jobs this summer season, a 4.6 percent increase over the March 2010 employment level, according to National Restaurant Association projections released today. America’s restaurants are the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer and job-creator—with nearly 13 million employees—a number projected to grow by more than one million positions in the next decade.

“In these tough economic times, restaurants are playing an ever more important role in their communities, creating jobs and economic opportunity for our nation,” said National Restaurant Association President & CEO Dawn Sweeney. “Every dollar spent in restaurants generates an additional $2.05 spent in the overall economy,” she added.

“Restaurant industry job growth has been positive for the first five months of 2010, paving the way for additional growth in summer employment,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the research and knowledge group for the Association.

The restaurant industry is usually the nation’s second-largest creator of summer jobs – ranking behind the construction industry only. Eating and drinking places added 422,100 jobs (a 4.6 percent increase) during the 2009 summer season, and 352,900 jobs (3.7 percent increase) during the 2008 summer season. Last year, however, the construction sector only added 259,300 jobs during the 2009 summer season, well below hiring in the restaurant industry.

The states projected to add the most eating and drinking place jobs during the 2010 summer season are New York (38,300), California (30,400), Texas (28,100), Massachusetts (24,800), New Jersey (24,600), Illinois (19,900), Ohio (19,800) and Michigan (18,600).

The states projected to register the largest proportional employment increase during the 2010 summer season are Maine (30.9 percent increase) and Alaska (26.0 percent increase).

View a PDF of summer employment projections by state, and of summer employment trends.

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 945,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a work force of nearly 13 million employees. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to lead America’s restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve. For more information, visit our Web site at