Higher Healthcare Costs = Less Restaurant Visits

Multiple sources are reporting a decline in restaurant traffic, especially large chains. Although Foodable has seen a spike in restaurant traffic for many emerging brands and some high-performing chains, restaurants like Logan's Roadhouse, Cosi, and Old Country Buffet have filed for bankruptcy.

So what is causing consumers to visit some of these brands less? 

Well, consumers now have more of a selection with an array of elevated fast casual concepts. So many publicly traded brands are losing traffic to these newer innovative concepts. 

Usually when commodity and gas costs are low, this means Americans can spend more on entertainment and dining out. 

But, there is another place where Americans are spending a significant amount of money. A survey by the research firm, Civic Science revealed that the no. 1 reason Americans have less of disposable income due to an increase in healthcare expenses. 

"One doesn’t need to be an economist to see that ObamaCare is reducing consumer spending, resulting in a reduction in restaurant visits. Combined with the economic advantages of eating at home due to lower grocery-store prices, we are experiencing what you might call a government-mandated restaurant recession," writes "The Wall Street Journal."

And this spending is only going to increase. The White House has just announced that the benchmark premium on the ObamaCare exchange will be increasing by 25%. This year the benchmark premiums already rose 7%. 

Depending on the state, premiums may increase by as much as 50%. Not to mention, deductibles on some plans have doubled or even tripled in thousands of dollars a year. 

"The burden these increased health-care costs place on working and middle-class Americans is inexcusable. But ObamaCare’s failure is having broader implications for economic growth. With GDP already averaging a mere 2% since the recession ended and hovering around 1.5% over the past four quarters, we should be making faster growth a political priority. That is not what the Affordable Care Act is doing," writes "The Wall Street Journal."

So with impending spike in healthcare costs, will the restaurant industry see even more of a decline in 2017? Read more