Atlanta restaurant sales up 5.1 percent in 2012

Business at Atlanta restaurants was up 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 and finished the year 5.1 percent ahead of sales for 2011.

Of the 78 restaurants surveyed by NetFinancials, which offers tax and accounting services for the industry, 82 percent said they saw increased sales in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to the same period a year ago. About 18 percent reported lower fourth quarter sales compared to 2011.

Of those that saw sales gains in the quarter, 32 percent experienced a double-digit uptick, NetFinancials said.

“After a brutal Q3 2012 we worried about a negative trend in restaurant sales volume,” said Bob Wagner, NetFinancials president. “But Q4 2012 shows a modest yet discernible rebound in total Atlanta restaurant industry sales volume. In addition, Q4 revealed more restaurants with positive sales trends and more restaurants with double-digit sales gains than in either Q2 or Q3 2012.”

While overall 2012 sales were up, the increase was smaller than the jump of 6.3 percent in 2011. In 2012, 85 percent of Atlanta restaurants reported sales increases while 24 percent had double-digit sales bumps.

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