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New Cornerstone Initiative Messages Unveiled

September 26, 2000

Overall economic impact of the industry to reach approximately $1 trillion in 2000

National Restaurant Association President and Chief Executive Officer Steven C. Anderson took the messages of the Cornerstone Initiative to a group of Wisconsin leaders last week, announcing that the overall economic impact of the restaurant industry is expected to reach approximately $1 trillion this year.

"The restaurant industry is a powerhouse that provides career opportunities to 11 million employees and fuels the nationís economic engine," Anderson said during a Sept. 12 speech to the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. "In fact, our estimates show that the overall economic impact of the industry will be roughly $1 trillion in 2000."

"When you look at the restaurant industryó831,000 establishments, direct sales of $376 billion, direct purchases of $131 billionóthe ripple effect upon our nationís economy is substantial, around 12 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)."

The economic impact analysisóthe Associationís first everóis based upon Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis figures. It includes not only annual sales of the nationís restaurants, but also sales in related industries such as agriculture, construction, manufacturing and transportation. "For example, every dollar spent at restaurants and food services generates another dollar in agriculture, food processing, distribution and other industries," Anderson added.

The analysis also looked at the industry as an employer, finding that the restaurant industry is the first, second or third largest employer in 48 of the 50 states. Anderson said the overall impact on employment in other related industries increases that number to an astonishing 18 million employees, or 14 percent of the nationís job base.

In addition to the industryís prominent role in the economy, Anderson discussed the restaurant industryís role as the cornerstone of community involvement. Speaking of the many contributions of Wisconsin restaurateurs, Anderson singled out those of the Wilson Street Grill in Madison. The restaurant won the Associationís Restaurant Neighbor Award last year for creating a rich and meaningful work environment while taking advantage of an underutilized employee poolópersons with disabilities. At the time of the award, about 30 percent of the restaurantís 27 employees were considered disabled.

A PowerPoint presentation on the restaurant industryís contributions as an economic force, key employer and community leader is available on the Associationís web site at . RESTAURATEURS ARE ENCOURAGED TO USE THIS PRESENTATION IN SPEECHES before local chambers of commerce, school assemblies and Rotary Club meetings, as well as other community events.

Source: Washington Weekly, National Restaurant Association

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