US patrons have not been frequenting restaurants as much. New numbers show a decrease in visitors in the first three quarters.

US visits to restaurants have been largely flat in the first three calendar quarters of 2011, according to figures released in December 2011 by The NPD Group. Data from NPD’s CREST service, which tracks consumer use of restaurants, indicates that restaurant traffic was up 0.2% year-over-year for Q1, but declined 0.4% year-over-year for Q2 and Q3. NPD predicts industry visits to remain flat for the rest of 2011 and beginning of next year, but to finish 2012 up 1%. Marketing Charts

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