Zane Tankel claims he is not afraid of the big, bad recession. Even as much of the casual-dining segment remains battered by the cash-conscious consumers defecting to quick-service eateries, the chief executive of Apple-Metro Inc., a Harrison, N.Y.-based Applebee’s franchisee, says he and his team have found ways to move their company forward. Apple-Metro has worked to improve operations and manage costs and continued to open stores, taking advantage of a falling real estate ...

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