HOUSTON Joe’s Crab Shack plans to open several new stores in the coming months, breaking ranks with many other operators in the beleaguered casual-dining segment. “We are very optimistic,” said Kevin Cottingim, senior vice president of human resources for the 113-unit, Houston-based chain. “We had a pretty good year compared to the industry.”With operators such as Joe’s Crab Shack gearing up for more stores and raising their employment expectations, casual dining is beginning to show signs ...

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