Rising Restaurant Sales and Employment Drive Surge in Demand for Foodservice Cleaning Products and Wipes

Rising Restaurant Sales and Employment Drive Surge in Demand for Foodservice Cleaning Products and Wipes

The latest “State of the Industry” report from the National Restaurant Association indicates that sales and costs for restaurants are up, with more hiring expected as the staff shortage persists. According to the report, U.S. restaurant sales are expected to exceed $1.1 trillion by the end of 2024, marking the first time industry sales will enter the trillions. Reportedly, a majority of the sales have been driven by pricing hikes.

Some of the key statistics from the National Restaurant Association’s report are:

  • Strong consumer demand despite rising costs: U.S. consumers continue to propel strong demand for eating out despite the higher costs associated with restaurant meals. This is particularly true among younger consumers, with more than half—including 67% of millennials and 63% of Gen-Z adults—saying that ordering takeout from a restaurant is an “essential part of their lifestyle.”
  • Persistence in staffing challenges: The restaurant industry is expected to employ 15.7 million people in 2024. A staggering 45% of restaurant operators report that they need more employees to meet consumer demand and a majority (70%) have job openings that they say are hard to fill. Looking ahead, the association expects the industry to add 150,000 jobs per year on average for the next eight years, with total staffing levels projected to reach 16.9 million by 2032.
  • Embracing technology to enhance customer experience: A considerable 60% of restaurant operators nationwide plan to invest in technology in 2024 to improve customer experience.

All this positive industry news bodes well for foodservice cleaning products suppliers and echoes Kline’s predictions for the future of the professional cleaning industry. Having busier restaurants with more patrons and employees means an increased need for warewash chemicals, surface care, disinfecting and sanitizing wipes, air care and odor control, and hand hygiene products.

Moreover, the proliferation of technological tools such as ordering tablets and kiosks requires specialized cleaning products capable of safely maintaining these expensive and sensitive devices. “We have seen increased demand for dry electronics wipers from foodservice operators as a result of more digital devices present in restaurants. Continuously active disinfectants are also an interesting product that helps the staff keep high-touch surfaces clean with less time spent cleaning,” says Laura Mahecha, Director of Professional Cleaning Products at Kline.

This year, Kline will conduct new research on both professional cleaning wipes and foodservice cleaning products, with large-scale structured surveys of restaurants, institutional and commercial kitchens, and other professional end users. These surveys provide detailed analysis of product preferences, product usage, preferred distribution channels, and key trends impacting the sector. To learn more about these studies or to explore our consulting capabilities in the professional cleaning industry, speak with an expert.

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