With the bleak economy threatening to dampen holiday shopping and rob restaurants of lucrative customer traffic, operators are waving the value flag over their gift card and loyalty programs in bids to get Grinch-like guests to eat out.Retail analysts are projecting one of the worst seasons ever for holiday shopping, which typically shifts into high gear from mid-November through December. However, job losses, declining home values and consumers’ reluctance or limited ability to buy on ...

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