CHICAGO – Repeat customers make up a greater portion of total sales at restaurants, although maintaining customer loyalty remains challenging, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast.

The association’s Restaurant Trends Survey revealed that in 2012 repeat customers represented a larger amount of total sales for a majority of restaurant operators across all industry segments. Repeat customers comprised 71 percent of sales at quick-service restaurants, 68 percent of sales at fast-casual operations, 64 percent at casual-dining establishments, 63 percent at family-dining eateries and 51 percent at fine-dining restaurants.

"Restaurant operators today are much savvier about attracting repeat customers and maintaining their loyalty," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA's Research & Knowledge Group. "They are utilizing new technologies and tactics to engage, retain and enlarge a loyal customer base."