Grab your knife and fork -- it sounds like a lot of people already have.
Talk of economic recovery seems to have worked up some consumer appetite, judging by increased same-store sales at both Applebee's
If consumers are feeling more festive and shopping till they're dropping, will that make them more likely to drop by a restaurant? Or will gift-buying expenditures make them more likely to economize and do their dining at hoppin' fast-food chains like McDonald's
If the wait lines at Outback and Applebee's prove too long, another denizen of the casual-dining chain sphere, Ruby Tuesday
Among the other casual-dining chains to watch should be Darden
Just in time for Thanksgiving feasts, the National Restaurant Association reported an improving outlook for the restaurant business last week. According to its Restaurant Performance Index, 56% of operators reported same-store increases between October 2002 and October 2003, and many expressed optimism about the future after several tough economic years.
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