Restaurant sales in January rise 1.6% year-over-year in March, the first increase in four months, amid increased traffic due to relatively warm weather, Japan Food Service Assn. says

TOKYO , April 26, 2013 () – Restaurant sales in Japan in March increased 1.6 pct from a year before, the first rise in four months, the Japan Food Service Association said Thursday.

The rise stemmed from increased customer numbers due to relatively warm weather, association officials said.

Family restaurants saw sales increase 4.7 pct. In particular, sales at those specializing in grilled meat surged 13.5 pct.

Sales at fast-food restaurants rose 0.1 pct as sales at "udon" noodle restaurants and sushi bars were brisk while the pace of falling sales at hamburger franchises slowed.

Sales at uncategorized fast-food restaurants increased 8.1 pct thanks to strong ice cream demand.

Sales at pubs and "izakaya" eateries fell 2.3 pct because of weak party demand.

Only some parts of the restaurant industry are feeling the effects of Japan's increasingly rosy economic outlook, the association said. END

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