Forecast: Higher spending may ease margin squeeze

Forecast: Higher spending may ease margin squeeze

Cautious optimism is the prevailing sentiment restaurant industry insiders express as they look toward business in 2007—a year of anticipated top-line growth with no shortage of negative pressures on profit.

While economic indicators point to increasing consumer confidence and rates of disposable income—two key statistics that directly relate to restaurant sales—escalating operating expenses, including inflated minimum-wage rates, higher commodity costs, increased competition for real

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