Food For Thought 3.12.09

"The good news for the restaurant industry is that consumers typically get hungry about every four to five hours, generally three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year." (Bob Derrington, securities analyst with Morgan Keegan & Co., on the ability of restaurants to weather nasty little recessions. According to some industry data, the food service sector continues to show life. Instead of the 20-plus percent sales declines experienced by retail--and worse in the auto industry--McDonald's experienced a 2.8 percent increase in U.S. based sales in February alone. Of course, only three of 36 casual dining chains saw gains. Still, as retail sales slumped 10.8 over the three months ending in January, the restaurant industry chugged along at a 2 percent growth rate--at least according to Nation's Restaurant News.)

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