A study by a restaurant management consultant says that consumers will cut back on spending in restaurants in 2012. Dining out reductions will be across all sectors except fast casual and fine dining. Given the uncertainty on the economy with unemployment still close to 9%, these statistics are not surprising to anyone working in the food service business. According to this recent news in the Louisville Business Journal: – “A new study has found that consumers expect to visit restaurants less often in 2012 and to spend less on dining out. Nation’s Restaurant News reports that the study, by AlixPartners LLP, found that consumers expect to make 11.7 monthly restaurant visits this year, down about 3 percent from 11.3 monthly visits last year.” – The study also found that consumers expect to spend 5% less in restaurants this year than in 2011. However, customer visits to fine dining establishments is expected to rise from 1.0 visits to 1.2 visits each month as shown in this restaurant management consultant study here. In a separate story reported in Nation’s Restaurant News, chains and restaurant advisors expect just the opposite – an uptick in consumer spending going forward. The following excerpt suggests Krisy Kreme will add more locations as part of their restaurant business plan and turnaround solution: – “At a recent investor conference, the ICR XChange held in Miami last month, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. chief executive Jim Morgan said he would be personally disappointed if the chain didn’t reach around 500 units in the United States over the next five years. The chain currently tallies about 230 U.S. restaurants.” Are you a foodservice business owner, operator or restaurant management consultant? If so, what are you expecting in terms of customer visits and future expansion if anything this year? Please share your commentary below.