Faced with escalating costs for everything from food to utilities to delivery surcharges, independent and small-chain operators who can’t benefit from volume-purchasing discounts are finding other ways to balance their budgets.Operators who are used to running a tight ship during normal times now scrutinize every detail even closer than usual amid the struggling economy. Among the bottom-line-bolstering tactics being used by resourceful restaurateurs are open-book explanations of business ...

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