James Greco, chief executive of Bruegger’s Enterprises Inc., acknowledges that the Burlington, Vt.-based Bruegger’s Bagels’ concept has had to mend a hole or two in its growth plans over the past 26 years.

However, he says, the bakery-cafe chain’s focus on guest service has helped keep the brand rolling forward even during these tough economic times.

Known as GUEST—an acronym for “Greet,” “Urgency,” “Eye contact,”

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