The deep freeze of this month’s polar vortex — which no doubt hurt restaurant sales just as the new year was getting started — is not exactly a positive sign for the industry headed into 2014. No amount of gift card redemptions, usually a boon in January, will make up for consumers staying home in sub-zero or nearly zero temperatures across the majority of the country. Still, this new year does have some positive momentum it won’t easily give up: • Industrywide ...

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