After three years of negative sales growth the National Restaurant Association finally reported some positive news earlier this month.
Restaurant industry sales are expected to reach a record $604 billion and post positive growth in 2011 after a three-year period of negative real sales growth, according to the National Restaurant Association 2011 Restaurant Industry Forecast. Sales are projected to advance 3.6 percent over 2010 sales, which equals 1.1 percent in real (inflation-adjusted) terms.
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Sales at the nation’s 960,000 restaurants represent 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, and restaurant employees comprise nearly 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. Restaurants are the nation’s second-largest private sector employer with 12.8 million employees.
But, the good news didn’t last long.
Barack Obama told Americans to stay home and cook just 14 days later during a press conference on his bloated budget plan.
“If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, you might put off a vacation.”