While snow plowing companies and hardware stores have seen a weather-related "bounce" in sales, restaurants are finding it harder to fill up their tables.

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Marilou Halvorsen of the New Jersey Restaurant Association said there's a simple explanation: Many would-be diners stay home when the weather is bad, and some establishments have been hurt.

She said this Valentine's Day weekend in particular is crucial for a lot of eateries.

"It's always the best time to take your wife or girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or whomever," Halvorsen said, "or just with your family and just go out and celebrate together."

Among the national restaurant chains reporting lower sales this week because of the weather were Panera Bread and Cracker Barrel. Of course, some Garden State restaurants are still trying to recover from a previous weather event -- Superstorm Sandy.

New Jersey restaurants collectively provide more than 300,000 jobs to the state's economy.