Debt rating agencies see industry improvement

With credit conditions in the overall economy improving, ratings agencies and analysts alike are becoming more optimistic that restaurants can pay back debt, improve credit metrics and begin to use capital for growth again.

The optimism comes after years of negative outlooks and ratings downgrades for many operators in the restaurant space who were saddled with debt from frenetic growth in the early 2000s, and then struggled to keep cash flow positive as diners cut back on eating

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