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Blue Plates Nationwide 

New Orleans isn't alone in singing the blue-plate blues. A survey released the last week of October by the National Restaurant Association found that restaurateurs across the country are pessimistic about both the state of the economy and their own sales growth. The association's Restaurant Performance Index, which takes into account both current sales and projected expectations, is at a record low in the six-year history of the index.

According to Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and information services for the association, "Nearly two out of three restaurant operators reported negative same-store sales and traffic levels in September, while 50 percent expect their sales in six months to be lower than the same period in the previous year."

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