While casual-dining sales this past year have bobbed up and down with consumer confidence, executives from Darden Restaurants Inc. told analysts this week that they expect smoother sailing ahead. “I think, as we look ahead to 2011, we do expect operating conditions to improve and that’s going to be a continuation of the improvement we think that we saw throughout this fiscal year,” Clarence Otis, Darden’s chairman and chief executive, said in a call with analysts ...

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