This just in: People love to eat good food. Wait, that’s not a news bulletin, it’s common knowledge. The restaurant industry has seen steady growth in the last several years, making now a great time to invest in a sub franchise.

To understand the restaurant industry outlook in 2018, you have to look at a few factors together. We will start with how the industry ended in 2017, then look at growth forecasts in the restaurant industry and the economy as a whole for 2018, and finally examine some trends for the coming year.

Year End Numbers

Food service ended 2017 with an estimated $799 billion in revenue, which is a 4.3% increase from the previous year. In fact, according to that same data, restaurants have seen consistent growth in the last 4 or 5 years, even when you account for inflation.

Even more significant for prospective investors, $324 billion of the year’s total industry growth went to fast casual or quick service restaurants — things like sub franchises that offer quick, high-quality, and healthy meals without the full-service restaurant price tag. Consumers are spending an average of $144 per month on eating outside the home, with the millennial generation spending even more.


The economy as a whole has a profound influence on consumers’ spending. Unemployment in the U.S. is low, and discretionary spending is on a slow but steady rise. Consumer spending is sitting comfortably high, and 2018 looks like that spending should remain steady throughout the year.

In the restaurant industry specifically, things are expected to at least stay on the same level as they were in 2017. 58 percent of restaurant owners/managers expect that their sales will increase in 2018.


Restaurant trends in 2018 should follow along many of the same lines as 2017. Consumers still want high quality food with fresh ingredients that is still affordable. So, investing in a sub franchise that specializes in quality meats, fine cheese, and freshly sliced veggies will be right on trend. In addition, consumers wanting their food to be affordable means that the fast casual growth is likely to continue as that is truly the best model for giving customers the quality of food they seek at a price they can afford.

Similarly, takeout and delivery is increasingly popular. There are a host of apps that pick up food from virtually any restaurant, and consumers are utilizing these, so many restaurants that don’t offer delivery in house are able to accommodate that desire.

Jon Smith Subs

If you’re looking at the fast casual restaurant space, Jon Smith Subs is the place to be. We have 30 years of experience making delicious sandwiches — made from fresh grilled chicken and delicious grilled steak, along with a host of veggies, cheeses, breads, and sides — and we are equipped to set up our franchisees for success. With our parent company, United Franchise Group, we have the infrastructure in place to help your sub franchise take advantage of everything the restaurant industry has to offer in 2018.

When you own a Jon Smith’s Subs franchise you will be fully equipped to offer consumers the highest quality food at affordable prices that they love. If you are looking for a franchise opportunity, check us out!