What is in this article?:
- Restaurant industry experts predict 2013 trends
- Menu, policy and commodities outlook
From stocks to commodity prices to menu trends, restaurant industry experts look at what's to come in 2013.
Menu, policy and commodities outlook
Nancy Kruse, president, The Kruse Company
Menu trends: A couple of burgeoning food trends will have an increasing impact on restaurant menus throughout the next year.
Greek cuisine is coming into its own in the mass market, with the extraordinary success of Greek yogurt opening the door to wider experimentation. Feta cheese, tzatziki and lamb will get more play, and chains like Little Greek will expand.
Salads will get a new lease on life as consumers seek healthful foods that are tasty and attractive. The use of kale will increase by leaps and bounds, along with specialty grains like farro and quinoa as salad toppers.
Steve Caldeira, president and chief executive, International Franchise Association
Tax reform: Caldeira says the IFA will continue to push for comprehensive tax reform for both corporate and individual rates. “The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world,” he said. “We need to be more competitive in the global economy, but it can't come on the backs of the small business community. Small business creates nearly two-thirds of the net new jobs in the U.S., and that's why we need to be focused on extending income tax rates for all levels. Why should we raise taxes on anyone in this fragile recovery?”
Health care: With the Affordable Care Act set to kick in 2014, franchisors and franchisees must make critical decisions on how they will implement the law in 2013. “Health care will not be repealed,” Caldeira said. “So the IFA will continue to work with the administration, looking for areas of flexibility to help mitigate some components that can be burdensome and costly for members.”
Access to capital: Caldeira said access to capital for restaurateurs looking to grow has improved slightly over the past several years. “But it is still not where it needs to be to fund the kind of growth we'd like to see," he noted. "The IFA will continue to forge connections with the lending community” in an effort to free up more capital.
John Barone, president, Market Vision Inc.
Beef costs:Beef represents the biggest challenge for foodservice operators for at least the next two years. The 6-percent increase in cattle prices in 2012 translated into roughly an 8-percent increase in ground beef prices and a 14-percent jump on choice steak cuts. The USDA projects 2013 beef production to be 5 percent lower than in 2012. Forward cattle futures contracts for 2013 are averaging mid-$130s per hundredweight, roughly 10 percent above 2012 levels. Beef prices hit record highs in June 2012. Those levels will likely be exceeded in spring 2013.
Corn costs: High corn prices will prompt U.S. growers to put another record corn crop in the ground for 2013, and their South American counterparts may do the same. If the weather cooperates, corn prices have the potential to be substantially lower by fall of 2013.
breast prices: Lower feed prices, combined with ever increasing broiler weights, will keep chicken breast prices relatively reasonable (compared with other proteins) in 2013. Chicken breast was the go-to protein for foodservice in 2012 and could be our saving grace again in 2013.