The holiday season is shaping up to be slightly better than last year’s for restaurants. Although customer traffic is flat or slightly down, those who are going out tend to spend more, chefs and restaurateurs are observing. “People are dusting off their checkbooks a little more this year than in the past two or three years,” said Patrick Lyons, chief executive of The Lyons Group, a Boston-based company that operates restaurants, bars, lounges and other entertainment venues. ...

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