According to Kurt Salmon’s Restaurant Spending Trajectory, consumer sentiment ticked up last month, suggesting restaurant sales could follow suit this fall after declining in May and June.

“Consumer sentiment is volatile, so we are looking for a month or two of additional increases to have confidence this bump will translate into sustained spending growth,” said restaurant strategist Todd Hooper. “Food prices are likely to increase as a result of this summer’s drought, which could dampen sentiment this fall. Still, we see a chance for spending to flatten out for the rest of the summer and begin to grow again in early autumn. Overall, industry sales remain strong—and considerably above pre-recession levels. Consumers are clearly finding reasons to eat out.”

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2 August 2012