According to Meat & Poultry, Restaurant sales are forecasted to reach $511 billion in 2006. Not only that, but the restaurant industry’s share of the consumer food dollar will be nearly 48%.
Why is this bad for supermarkets? Because if people are spending more money at restaurants, they’re spending less at markets for homecooked meals. More money for restaurants means less money for Supermarkets.
Also noted in the article: “As one of the nation’s most aggressive job creators, the industry will employ 12.5 million people in 925,000 locations”.
That’s almost 5% of our population, certainly more if you remove the populations which don’t make up the workforce (children, retired folk, etc).