Recent news from the restaurant industry found that hiring is up in recent months, positive news that's indicative of expansion in the industry's economy. There are also signs that the industry at large is experiencing growth, though that may be more limited than some have expected.

New jobs plentiful
Nation's Restaurant News reported that U.S. foodservice employers were one of the overall economic job creators in May. The month saw 217,000 total jobs added and the full recovery of the 8.7 million jobs lost during the recent recession, with the foodservice industry representing 31,700 of those positions, based on recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As such, foodservice and drinking establishments were among the top overall industries showing growth during the month.

What's more, National Restaurant Association chief economist Bruce Grindy said industry leaders are optimistic about further potential growth. Up to 25 percent of operators said they plan to hire more people in the next six months than they did in the past year, compared to only about 10 percent expecting to cut positions. 

The foodservice industry also saw its 51st consecutive monthly gain in employment, which means it has not seen a single month of negative employment since early 2010.

While positive, industry predictions reduced slightly
Foodservice Equipment and Supplies Magazine added that while overall restaurant industry performance is expected to remain positive in 2014 and 2015, recent reports saw these predictions downgraded slightly from initial figures. In 2014, an early prediction has been downgraded from 3.5 percent to 3.3 percent, while 2015 will see industry growth of 3.1 percent.

A representative of Technomic, a market research firm, noted that in real economic terms, this means that 2014 will see a real foodservice growth rate of just 0.1 percent in 2014 and 1.2 percent in 2015, taking factors like inflation into account. This is because despite a growing economy, consumers are still very cautious of future expectations. Spending and growth are on an upwards swing, but at a slower pace than expected.

Most of the reason for the downgrade was due to poor industry results early in the year. The first quarter of industry sales saw a 2 percent decline in overall sales because up to 65 percent of consumers said the extreme weather affected their ability to go out and eat.

Hospitality and restaurant industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in food service equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.