Traffic increases despite higher menu prices

Increased traffic coinciding with price hikes at chain restaurants could mean improved consumer confidence

Customers visited restaurant chains more often at the end of 2011, even as menu prices rose — an indication of improved consumer confidence, according to The Bellwether Food Group Inc.

In reporting on fourth-quarter same-store sales at restaurant chains, the Topsfield, Mass.-based industry research firm noted that traffic increased at the same time th

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