Slowed overall growth spurs casual chains to test new initiatives

Slowed overall growth spurs casual chains to test new initiatives

The 35 casual-dining chains in the 2008 Second 100 saw their aggregate annual systemwide-sales growth rate virtually cut in half in their latest full fiscal years, to 2.81 percent from 5.59 percent, but many are already nostalgic for such results in the face of same-store performance that is slowing further.

Even the latest-year statistical standouts of the Second 100’s casual-dining group, including BJ’s Restaurants Inc. of Hunt

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