(Des Moines, Iowa) – Iowa’s restaurant industry continues to outperform projections on both employment and revenue growth. The National and Iowa Restaurant Associations had projected that Iowa’s foodservice industry would add 1,230 jobs in 2015. However, the state quadrupled that projection posting a net increase of 5,200 industry positions last year. “Nearly every restaurant in the state is seeking to increase its staff,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “From servers and managers, to kitchen staff and dishwashers, we simply cannot find the employees to fill the positions open in the state.” The coming year is projected to be strong as well — the Association expects a net increase of 1,600 foodservice jobs in Iowa in 2016. Revenues Over Perform Iowa restaurant revenues also exceeded expectation last year. Entering 2015, revenues had been projected to land just over $3.6 billion, however Iowa’s restaurant industry posted more than $4 billion in sales in 2015. 2016 restaurant sales are expected to exceed $4.2 billion. “We are projecting a 4.2 percent increase in restaurant sales in 2016,” said Dunker. “Our projected and real growth has hovered right around 3 percent for years. This is a great sign that as the state’s economy strengthens, consumer interest and willingness to spend in Iowa restaurants will strengthen as well.” In fact, the Association’s research found that 57% of adults said that if they had an extra $60 per month to spend each month they would be likely to spend it in restaurants. “If gas prices stay low and our consumer behavior models are accurate, it could be a banner year for Iowa hospitality operators,” said Dunker. Association Hosting Career Fair March 1 Dunker pointed out that the strength of the industry is expanding employment opportunities for people interested in the flexibility and growing wages of the restaurant industry and related industries. To help match employers with potential employees, the Iowa Restaurant Association is hosting a career fair on Tuesday, March 1st , from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. There is no charge for job seekers. For more information visitwww.restaurantiowa.com.
###Iowa Restaurant Association The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa’s hospitality industry with educational and promotional programs across the state. www.restaurantiowa.com. Contact: Katelyn Kostek Public Relations Specialist 515-276-1454 firstname.lastname@example.org