A report from AlixPartners leads off with the good news — nine months into 2013, restaurant spending has returned to pre-recession levels, the number of restaurants in financial distress is at a record low and inflationary pressures on commodity prices have eased.

But on the downside, the report said that consumers are continuing to focus on food quality when dining out and are expected to make fewer restaurant visits next year.  But this time, the reasons will have more to do with healthy eating than pinching pennies, the report said.  The survey also found that consumers say they plan to spend less per restaurant visit, largely by taking advantage of promotions and deals.

AlixPartners is not the only forecaster to come out with new predictions for the new year, and some of their findings shore up the conclusion that health concerns are likely to drive dining decisions next year. Baum + Whiteman’s 2014 trend forecast puts healthy dining at number eight on the list, saying investments in healthy eating concepts like Sweetgreen, Chipotle, and Veggie Grill will pay off as they move from the niche to the mainstream. At the same time, white tablecloth eateries and high-profile chefs will feature menus with lighter fare and more vegetarian offerings.

“More than one factor propels this profound market change: the gluten rejecters, Paleo people, diabetics, weight challenged, vegetarians, vegans, and two decades of hectoring by nutritionists, food Nazis, and perhaps the first lady,” the AlixPartners’ report says.