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By Barry Klein
Next year will see a tug-of war between the economic situation and the burgeoning desires of consumers to eat out more often. It would be easy to predict a very good year ahead for restaurants if it wasn't for the uncertainty of whether people could afford one of the purchases they really want to make. Here's why:
It seems that the only thing that is keeping people from eating out even more often is whether or not they can afford it until the next payday. "Should I try the menu at the new bistro that just opened down the street, or make the car payment a few days late?" is a familiar debate for many people.
Since I often cast a skeptical eye on most subjects, here is an unusual prediction: 2013 will be a much better year for the restaurant industry than most people are expecting.
I see even further growth in preoccupation with food among consumers because it will continue to be an interesting, fun, non-threatening subject. People will find ways to discuss, experiment and dabble in the world of food, no matter what their financial situation.
Of course, major financial disasters such as significant unemployment and tax increases could change this picture considerably, but I believe the impact has to be quite substantial to mitigate the developing "foodie" interest and attention from consumers.
Barry Klein is best known for creating the Ronald McDonald character and led the "You Deserve A Break Today" advertising campaign for McDonald's. In his current occupation as a marketing consultant, Klein has developed business-building concepts, new products and more for Coca Cola, Pizza Hut, Quiznos, Cadillac, Ruby Tuesday, Friendly’s, Perkins, Pay Less Shoes and others. He has been a key contributor to such projects as Stuffed Crust Pizza for Pizza Hut, Prime Rib Subs and Torpedoes for Quiznos.
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