Restaurants must be ready to wrest guests back from supermarkets armed with prepared foods

If anyone has found a silver lining in the ongoing restaurant industry slowdown with its twin scourges of rising costs and sluggish traffic, it’s supermarkets, which have seen increased interest in their continually improving prepared foods. In fact, prepared-food sales at retail grocery stores are expected to grow 7 percent over the next year, more than twice the rate of conventional restaurants, according to industry analyst Technomic Inc.

That’s cause for operators to sit up and

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