More than margins at stake as trans fat mandates, fast-food bans threaten restaurants’ very existence

America’s restaurants are under pressure. This year has witnessed increasing labor and commodity costs paired with waning consumer spending. Wholesale food prices have jumped 15 percent since 2006. July’s federal minimum-wage hike increased labor costs. A slowing economy, job insecurity, falling house values and rising gas prices have prompted would-be restaurant patrons to eat at home.

But remember, the greatest threats are not necessarily the most immediate ones.

Consider Calif

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