Brinker, Darden could set tone for casual dining in '09

Casual-dining bellwethers Brinker International Inc. and Darden Restaurants Inc. this week will provide outlooks for the year ahead amid a worsening picture for many chains in the segment.

While the entire restaurant industry suffers during a domestic recession, casual-dining concepts have been particularly hard hit from consumer trade down to less-expensive options and years of what some analysts say was overbuilding. The negative traffic and unit closures reported fr

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