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Arizona Restaurant Industry is Starting to Look Up

Have you been dining out more in 2010? If so, you're not alone.

This past year has seen a slight boost for the state's restaurant industry, according to a story in this morning's Republic business section.

The Arizona Restaurant Association anticipates annual revenue to total $8.6 billion for 2010, an improvement over last year's $8.4 billion. Compared to the national average, though, our bump was modest, likely because restaurants suffered the same recessionary downslide as the tourism industry here.

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In Phoenix, sales tax revenues for restaurants and bars in the first for months of the 2010-2011 fiscal year were up 3.1 percent over the same period a year ago.

At the same time, the rate of restaurant closures has gone up to 5 percent, and may climb as high as 7 percent.

In 2011, I predict your inboxes will be flooded with more Groupon imitators than ever, that we'll continue to see ever more creative marketing (whether through social media, dinner specials, or one-off events), and that budget-friendly comfort food will still dominate menus.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.