Restaurant sales rose 3.4% in 2011

Sales among the 500 largest restaurant chains in the United States rose 3.4 percent to $242 billion in 2011, compared with a 1.8-percent increase in annual sales in 2010, according to new research from Chicago-based Technomic.

In the market research firm’s annual look at the largest 500 restaurant chains, more than 60 percent of the Top 500 restaurant chains posted at least nominal sales increases; only 193 of these chains suffered sales declines in 2011, compared with 231 in 201

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