A few encouraging signs emerged this week as several restaurant companies reported fourth-quarter results that reflected improving sales trends. Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Panera Bread Co., which have performed better than most chains throughout the recession, continued their track records in earnings results unveiled Thursday. All three reported positive same-store sales in the fourth quarter, including a 7.4-percent jump at Panera's company stores.Meanwhile, ...

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