Nick Sarillo, chief executive of Nick’s Pizza & Pub, which has two locations in Elgin and Crystal Lake, Ill., noticed early in the recession that fewer families were coming into his restaurants. So at the request of his servers — some of whom had neighbors or spouses losing their jobs in the downturn — he launched Half-Off Dine-in Mondays and Half-Off Takeout Tuesdays at his restaurants to help ease the financial pressure customers were feeling. The promotions Sarillo ...

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