Two recent restaurant expert reports on the state of the industry for last year and the first quarter of this year show improvements in year over year sales. This is especially true in the quick-service and fast casual foodservice sectors. However, restaurant operators remain pessimistic as to whether sales will rise or stay flat. According to the one report released by Technomic this week, several key statistics are worth noting for 2012 as we enter the next quarter: Sales among the largest U. S. restaurant dining establishments rose 3.4 percent to $242 billion dollars in 2011, compared with the a 1.8-percent climb in annual revenues for 2010 The fast-casual segment leaded the way in terms of sales, and unit growth increase among the 3 fastest-growing dining establishments grew as much as 22% to 33% Limited-service, which includes quick-service and fast-casual brand name names, shot up yearly sales 7.1 percent in comparison with full service’s 2.8-percent increase. Full-service restaurants recovery resulted from robust demand in the seafood and steak sectors. You can read the full report from this restaurant expert analyst here. In a separate study in Nation’s Restaurant News by MillerPulse, another restaurant economist firm, it reported: “Restaurant industry same-store sales remained strong in February, particularly in the quick-service segment, but operators are divided on whether positive sales trends are sustainable in the long-term.” All in all, it appears that restaurant sales from a foodservice consultants standpoint, and particularly among chain operations, will maintain an increase going forward of at least 3% in 2012, which should exceed current inflation rate levels as well. Need monthly input about what is going on in the foodservice and restaurant industry for your business? Check out The INNsider© Update and hear more on what our restaurant expert group has to say on the latest trends, forecasts and more.