The restaurant industry in Texas is expected to post 4.8% sales growth in 2015 to reach $44.5 billion according to the National Restaurant Association's (NRA) 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast and trends report. Texas restaurants will employ 1.2 million individuals next year and create an additional 260,700 jobs in the next decade. "Once again Texas is among the nation's leaders in restaurant sales growth and first in the nation in restaurant employment growth. With $44 billion in sales, the Texas restaurant industry continues to be a cornerstone of the community and the economy," said Richie Jackson, CEO, Texas Restaurant Association. While the operating environment for America's one million restaurants remains challenging, 2015 will mark the sixth consecutive year of real sales growth for the industry. Overall, industry sales are projected to reach $709.2 billion in 2015, up 3.8 percent from 2014. 2015 also will mark the 16th consecutive year in which restaurant industry employment will outpace overall employment growth. Restaurants will employ 14 million individuals this year as the nation's second-largest private sector employer, representing about 10 percent of the total U.S. workforce. "Our nation's restaurants continue to be an essential part of Americans' daily lives and play a vital role in every community across the country," said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. "Although operators will continue to face a range of complex challenges in 2015, the restaurant and foodservice industry remains a fundamental driver of the nation's economy, while providing valuable careers and opportunities to 14 million Americans." Operators will continue to face a range of challenges, including rising food costs, building sales volume, the economy, healthcare, and recruiting and retaining employees. For more information about the NRA's 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast, visit Restaurant.org/Forecast.