While most restaurateurs are perfecting new menus and marketing campaigns in hopes of driving sales, Daniel Halpern is focused on spurring the sputtering U.S. economy.
 “If America doesn’t have a thriving middle class, I have no customers,” said Halpern, president and chief executive of Jackmont Hospitality Inc., an Atlanta-based franchisee of 11 T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants. “Most of my customers are working-class people, so if we continue to lose jobs that ...

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