After a surprising surge in December, restaurant sales came down a bit in January. And consumer sentiment continues to be flat, suggesting little impetus for sales growth in the short term, according to Kurt Salmon’s Restaurant Spending Trajectory.

“Consumers are in a wait-and-see mode. They are adjusting to higher payroll taxes yet also hold some optimism regarding the economy,” said restaurant strategist Todd Hooper. “The first quarter is likely to be soft, though I expect the story for 2013 will still be one of modest growth.”

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11 March 2013