Texas Restaurant Industry First in Nation in The Texas Restaurant Association today announced that Texas restaurant industry sales growth leads the nation at 4% with total sales expected to reach $35 billion in 2009, according to the National Restaurant Association’s “2009 Restaurant Industry Forecast”.

Restaurants in Texas will employ more than one million Texans in 2009 and the number of restaurant jobs in the state is projected to grow 23.4 % by the year 2019, resulting in 1.2 million jobs.

“Even in these tough economic times, it is clear that the Texas restaurant industry is the best place to do business in the nation,” said Richie Jackson, TRA executive vice president/CEO. “While our country is coping with the weakest economy in decades, Texas restaurateurs continue to buck the trends and post positive sales and job growth.”

Nationally, restaurant industry sales are expected to reach $566 billion in 2009, with the industry employing 13 million individuals in 945,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets nationwide.

The forecast projects that while overall restaurant industry sales will increase in current dollars by 2.5 percent over 2008, the number translates to an inflation-adjusted decline of 1.0 percent.

Despite the economic downturn, the industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, representing 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and employing 9 percent of the U.S. workforce.

“The restaurant industry is both innovative and resilient,” said Dawn Sweeny, president/CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “In the year ahead, the industry’s sales are projected to continue to increase, with a total economic impact that exceeds $1.5 trillion, yet at the same time, the industry is experiencing unprecedented challenges due to the economic recession and elevated food prices.”

In addition to containing a national, regional and state-by-state sales and employment outlook, the “2009 Restaurant Industry Forecast” provides details on the latest economic, consumer, menu, operator, and workforce trends.

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