An increase in consumer spending and summer tourism is helping to create demand across the restaurant industry.

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) said that it expects eating and drinking establishments across the U.S. will add hundreds of thousands of positions during the height of the summer season, Quick Service Restaurant reports.

"Summer is the busiest season for restaurants in most parts of the country, and the stronger business leads to additional employment opportunities at all levels of a restaurant operation," Bruce Grindy, chief economist for the NRA, told the industry news source. "The projected addition of 448,000 summer restaurant jobs will be driven by a national economy that continues to improve, as well as consumers' pent-up demand for restaurant services that remains at historically high levels."

The states that are projected to add the most restaurant jobs include California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, Texas and New York.

The industry is also expected to experience steady growth this year overall. The NRA said it is predicting to sales will hit the $660 billion mark in 2013, with continued growth expected in 2014, according to The Packer.

Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA's research and knowledge group, recently told attendees at the group's Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago that the industry now employs more than 13 million people. 

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