Survival of the fittest

Survival of the fittest

Areport on the state of the casual-dining business published late last summer by Cleveland Research Co. paints a gloomy picture of the already battered segment’s immediate future.

Citing such challenging fundamentals as extreme margin pressures from food, labor and utility costs, declining consumer demand, and market saturation, the equity research firm concluded that “casual dining is largely a broken model and that the industry will need to rationalize and reformulate over the next

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