When Ciaran Dunne joined Claddagh Irish Pubs in February 2009, the chain of 15 pubs was suffering same-store sales decreases near 20 percent in some markets. The Solon, Ohio-based chain did some soul searching by conducting focus groups with its guests. Soon after, Claddagh began a turnaround in 2010 by enacting operational, culinary and marketing initiatives to showcase the chain’s authenticity as an Irish pub, not an Irish-theme restaurant that happened to sell lots of draft beer, ...

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