CHICAGO The pace of restaurant industry growth slowed in 2008, as the largest of chains faced a decline in consumer spending as well as increased cost pressures, according to new data from Technomic Inc. In the foodservice consulting firm’s annual report covering the largest 500 U.S.-based restaurant chains, the group posted an annual sales gain of 3.4 percent in 2008, down from an increase of 5.0 percent in 2007. The total number of units increased 1.8 percent in 2008, compared with ...

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