NRA forecasts return to industry sales growth

Restaurants poised for a comeback in 2011 after three years of negative sales

After three years of negative real sales, the U.S. restaurant industry is poised to hit a record $604 billion in sales this year, the National Restaurant Association said Tuesday.

In its “2011 Restaurant Industry Forecast,” the NRA said the nation’s 960,000 restaurants will see aggregate sales increases of 3.6 percent in 2011, or 1.1 percent in real, or inflation-adjusted, terms.

The NRA’s forecast also indicated that growth-minded operators will be able

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