93% of US restaurant owners expect strong sales in 2006

93% of US restaurant owners anticipate strong sales in 2006. When asked about the biggest business challenges they face, US restaurant owners cited filling seats during slower days or seasons (50%) and building their establishment’s brand and reputation (27%) as the top two difficulties. 90% of restaurateurs said they maintain a website, and 84% said they use email as part of their marketing strategy. In fact, nearly half of those surveyed (45%) said email marketing is their most effective marketing tool. Direct mail was a distant second at 18%, followed by print advertising at 16%, ConstantContact reports.