A leading US restaurant analyst has highlighted five reasons why things are looking up for operators in the US, against a backdrop of rising fuel and food costs. In a research note, Brad Ludington said that consumers were coming back to restaurants; social media marketing was working; and that there were still opportunities for growth. On consumers coming back to restaurants, Ludington said: “We believe meals at restaurants have both entertainment and convenience factors that are valuable to consumers and will become more prevalent as incomes rise.” He said that consumers had not settled into a permanent “new normal” of dining out less. Ludington of KeyBlanc Capital Markets also said that restaurants could work around inflated commodity costs and that consumers were still spending.