* Although sales in September were down 6.3 percent nationally, regions varied dramatically, with the Phoenix market showing year-over-year growth of 7.6 percent and the Los Angeles market declining 12.1 percent.* Daypart trends indicate that dinner business has seen the largest decrease in usage (-6.8 percent) followed by breakfast (-5.9 percent), and then late night (-5.8 percent). Lunch had the smallest decline (-5.3 percent).* Performance trends analyzed by cuisine types varied dramatically, with seafood restaurants posting the smallest decline (-0.5 percent) and steak restaurants declining more significantly (-12.3 percent).* In general, guest traffic decreased 6.1 percent in September. Chain restaurants declined by 6.6 percent, with independent restaurants showing only a 5.7 percent decrease.* Average check price has decreased 5.5 percent, with chain restaurants declining only 4.4 percent compared with independents, which are down 6.4 percent.