Rhode Island’s restaurants, more than 3,000 eating and drinking establishments, offer a wide array of cuisine catering to every taste and style of dining, with several local delicacies travelers and returning natives seek out within Ocean State borders.
Restaurants, still reeling from withering pandemic years of closures, restrictions and medical advice to remain indoors at home, are expected to continue to recover through 2023.
According to Dale J. Venturini, President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association (RIHA), Rhode Island’s restaurant and lodging industries are expected to reshape and recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, international inflation and economic concerns, and other global factors.
The year’s biggest challenges for restaurant operators include employee recruitment, the economy, food costs and availability, sales volume, and labor costs, said Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of the Research & Knowledge Group at The National Restaurant Association (NRA).
There are 3,069 eating and drinking locations in Rhode Island, according to the National Restaurant Association, contributing 51,400 jobs to the state’s economy, about 11 percent of the state’s workforce. By 2030, that number is expected to grow to 14 percent, adding more than 7,000 jobs.
A thriving restaurant industry benefits the entire Rhode Island economy, NRA says, offering a few statistics:
• EVERY ADDITIONAL DOLLAR SPENT IN RHODE ISLAND’S RESTAURANTS CONTRIBUTES $1.83 TO THE STATE ECONOMY.
• EVERY ADDITIONAL $1 MILLION SPENT IN RHODE ISLAND’S RESTAURANTS GENERATES 17.7 JOBS IN THE STATE ECONOMY.
Rhode Island restaurants cater to every taste and preference of cuisine, and are also home to the unique Ocean State staples including calamari, coffee milk, the state’s signature milkshake, the cabinet, coffee milk, and if you care to combine the two, a coffee cabinet. Del’s Lemonade, clam cakes, doughboys, zeppoles, stuffies, quahogs and hot weiners are all served with pride throughout the state at its many eating and drinking establishments.