Current consumer sentiment, now in its seventh straight month of decline, suggests restaurant sales will continue to slip as autumn approaches, according to Kurt Salmon’s Restaurant Spending Trajectory.

“Economic uncertainty and protracted unemployment continue to impact consumers’ spending decisions across all categories,” said restaurant strategist Todd Hooper. “Eating out is often first on the chopping block when consumers look for ways to cut spending. So it’s no surprise that restaurant spending has tumbled since its post-recession high in March.

“As always, chains that provide exceptional value or clear differentiation will be better positioned to withstand a souring economy. But there are still no signs indicating a broader industry turnaround.”

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9 August 2011