Restaurant sales dropped 3% to 4% nationally in the first two months of the year and the declines hit 7% to 8% in the parts of the country that were pummeled with blizzards and frigid temperatures, according to a study from Technomic. A separate study from NCR revealed that 46% of Americans canceled or rescheduled entertainment plans, including dining out, during the past three months. "We expect that consumers will enthusiastically return to foodservice in the spring, but January and February have to be considered lost dining occasions for foodservice operators," said Technomic's Wade Hanson.

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