The New Jersey restaurant community continues to struggle to get fully back on its feet.

As with most businesses and industries here in New Jersey, the struggle continues. Although sales growth numbers for the restaurant industry throughout the nation are up dramatically from the pandemic, the industry is still below a back-to-normal growth rate.

The actual growth was relatively small, and it did not come from more guests coming into the restaurants. Growth rose to 1.9% in May, which was up from 1.3% in April, according to a report published in National Restaurant News.

Looking at the 4th quarter of 2022, restaurants experienced an overall sales growth of 4.4%. But restaurants also felt the results of consumers battling inflation and financial obstacles with a deceleration in sales checks, and traffic growth to the restaurants remains an ongoing problem.

The result is people are paying more for their checks and are maintaining a stagnant decrease in traffic to the restaurants causing problems ahead for New Jersey restaurants.

A rise in the cost of goods has pigeon-holed restaurants into having to increase the prices you see on their menus. So instead of that juicy steak people are opting for that burger or chicken dish instead.

I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for so many fine restaurants here in New Jersey. I know we must watch what we spend but most restaurants are doing what they can to take our needs into consideration. Support New Jersey restaurants, and enjoy yourself.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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