U.S. Quick Service Restaurants Drive Employment Gain [View all]
(Bloomberg) Rachael Wright had culinary training, a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a dream of putting her education to work. After a couple of years waiting tables and trying to launch her career, Wright finally went where the jobs are: quick-service food.
In September, she started at Protein Bar, a Chicago-based eatery specializing in low-sugar, high-fiber menus. The company says it seeks to marry fresh ingredients with convenience: Food is served in easy-to-carry bowls so customers can nosh while they walk. After multiple interviews, Wright landed an assistant manager job at the company’s new store in Washington.
Fast-food chains including Wendy’s Co. (WEN), snack-and-beverage shops such as Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), and a newer crop of eateries like Protein Bar and Nando’s Peri-Peri, which offer made-to-order meals, are leading the growth.
Such outlets are flourishing even as total restaurant traffic remains stuck below pre-recession levels. Americans stepped out to eat 61 billion times in the 12 months ending July 31, down from 62 billion visits four years ago, according to market researcher NPD Group in Port Washington, New York. ...................(more)