The belief that smaller is better is enjoying a spirited revival among several restaurant chains that have substantially reduced the size of their prototype buildings without diminishing—and in some cases while growing—average-unit volumes. From 400 square feet squeezed out of the current store model of Rising Roll, an Atlanta-based fast-casual sandwich concept, to as much as 1,500 square feet eliminated from current prototypes of O’Charley’s, the Nashville, Tenn.-based ...

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