Midwest restaurant operators are bracing for a lean year of high unemployment and expected dips in both consumer traffic and disposable income levels.To combat the trends, independent and chain operators alike will employ various tactics in 2009, including the freezing of employee bonuses, repairing rather than replacing equipment, renegotiating terms with suppliers, promoting menu specials and price discounts, and raising menu prices.Whatever operators do, however, they say they must ...

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