May 22, 2009

Attendance down at restaurant show

The recession prompted a lower-than-usual turnout at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago this week, the association says.

The 90th annual show drew about 54,000 attendees to McCormick Place representing a drop of 24 percent from last year, Crain's Chicago Business reported Friday.

The association says the decrease in attendance reflects how much the industry has been hurt by the recession.

The group predicts restaurants will begin to see sales rebound by the fourth quarter of this year following declines during the first six months and breaking even in the third quarter.

Fast food is projected to post the biggest gain for the year with an increase of 4 percent, the association says.