The year ahead promises to be a difficult one, as operating costs continue to rise — think health care, commodities, labor, taxes — and consumer spending habits still remain unclear, with spending increases one month and cutbacks the next. Restaurant securities analyst Bob Derrington, a managing director at Northcoast Research, may have summed up the pending hurdles of 2013 best, or at least most colorfully, evoking the best-selling book Fifty Shades of Grey. “Fears ...

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