With the newly released jobs data for December, which included average hourly earnings data for foodservice and drinking establishments, ArrowStream's economists compiled the full-year of 2019 labor costs for the restaurant industry.
Referencing the chart, they note, "at 31.7 percent [2019 costs were] essentially flat with the prior year and down from 2017, but still historically high."
Future Labor Cost Expectations
"Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if electronic orders and delivery help the labor percentage to decline as the industry becomes more efficient. We suspect it will."