Industry analysts addressed more than 150 Rhode Island hospitality professionals during the 12th annual Economic Outlook Breakfast, hosted by the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA). They concluded that Rhode Island can expect moderate growth in both the lodging and restaurant industries by the end of 2015 and into 2016.
This year’s panelists included Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association, and Rachel Roginsky, President of Pinnacle Advisory Group. Riehle, first to present, addressed the economic backdrop and performance of the restaurant and food service industry.
According to Riehle, the U.S. restaurant industry’s annual food and beverage purchases have reached $709 billion so far in 2015. Riehle said that consumer confidence has been restored to post-recession highs and there “continues to be a pent-up demand to dine out.”