Casual dining on an upswing
Baby boomers are changing the restaurant business, according to a recently released survey.
Sales at casual dining restaurants, where entrees run about $10 to $15, rose 10 percent last year, according to Technomic Inc., a Chicago-based food service research firm.
Increased business from members of the baby boomer generation, such as Massachusetts diners Dan Leinweber and his wife, Roberta Golick, above, accounts for much of the growth, industry analysts said.
Casual dining spots "are relaxed, social places. The bar is a draw for a number. There's selection. You can get healthier items if you want, and these places are family-friendly," said Bob Goldin, executive vice president of Technomic.
Boomers have also contributed to the growth of restaurants that combine casual dining and fast food, Goldin said. Sales at these restaurants, which mostly include sandwich shops like Subway and Panera Bread, rose 15 percent last year, Technomic said. Meanwhile, sales of fast food grew in the low single digits.
Terrorist attacks: Tech, tourism employees take brunt of layoffs
The travel and tourism industry, devastated by last September's terrorist attacks, accounted for a quarter of the 1.2 million job cuts announced in the United States between Sept. 11 and March 31.
An analysis by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that 305,000 jobs were cut in the sector, making it the second hardest hit industry during the period, after technology-related companies, which were already in a downturn before the attacks. Tech firms cut 321,451 jobs.
Nearly two-thirds of the travel/tourism-related job cuts were at airlines and airplane makers, combining for 190,026 job cuts, or 62 percent of the industry's eliminated jobs. The balance of the cuts were spread among hotels, tourist destinations, airports, food companies, travel agents and car rental agencies.
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