By Marcus Leach

New statistics released on Sunday have shown that the country’s restaurant industry is defying the recession with impressive growth figures.

The hotel and restaurant sector grew by 6.2% in March 2011, despite stagnation in the economy as a whole throughout the winter.

Mitchell Tillman, Managing Director of First Restaurant Group, which has numerous dining venues throughout the capital, is delighted by the news.

“Despite a difficult economic climate, First Restaurant Group is still growing," Tillman said.

"Due to popular demand, we have just opened our pop up summer restaurant, The Summerhouse, in Maida Vale for the second year running and next month we are set to open an exciting new dining concept on the King’s Road in the historic grade II listed World’s End distillery.

“What this statistic shows is that despite tighter budgets, people still want to enjoy a nice meal out. Diners have become more savvy about how they’re spending their money, expecting quality cuisine and value. However, if restaurants can offer an exciting culinary experience and reasonable prices, there is plenty of room for growth.”

This data reflects large growth in the service sector as a whole and has been mirrored throughout Europe.

This statistic was provided by Markit, a financial information services company, after conducting a purchasing managers survey with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. This purchasing managers’ index (PMI) provides data for measuring the levels of growth in the service, manufacturing and construction sectors and assesses the state of the economy as a whole. It is used in 26 countries and key regions, including the eurozone.