High labor and commodity costs, tight-fisted consumers portend a tough year

Expectations for foodservice sales growth in the year ahead aren’t just muted, but are downright alarming for some operators and industry analysts.

Reflecting near-universal apprehension, forecasts for the restaurant industry’s performance in 2008 are being dampened by constricted consumer spending, more pressures on profit from spiking labor and commodity costs and intensified competition for dining-out dollars.

While long-term growth prospects for operators and suppliers still

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