Restaurant sales growth could hit 4-year high

Restaurant sales growth could hit 4-year high

2011 predictions include the best nominal and real percent change since 2008

The year ahead could be a true turning point for the restaurant industry should expectations from research firm Technomic Inc. play out as expected.

The Chicago-based research firm expects total U.S. foodservice sales to increase 1.7 percent from 2010 on a nominal basis, and dip just 0.3 percent on a real basis, when factoring out menu price inflation. Nominal growth assumes a menu price inflation rate of 1.5 percent for 2010 and 2 percent for 2011.

The results, which include ex

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