According to the National Restaurant Associations 2009 Restaurant Industry Forecast, American consumers seek restaurants that have value, convenience, and healthier menu options. The report purports that the No. 1 trend in 2009 is locally sourced items. Another popular trend is green initiatives -- conserving both energy and water. Despite the economic downturn, the restaurant industry will remain a cornerstone of the U.S. economy (We hope.), representing 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and employing 9 percent of the U.S. workforce.