In the South, there is an old saying, “Dance with the one who brung ya.” In these turbulent economic times, as so many restaurant chains struggle with the rising cost of goods and pressures on the consumer’s pocketbook, this metaphor expresses what most operators would like to do: remain loyal to the key attributes that define their brand and ride out the current economic tide. But as many chains have discovered, this is easier said than done.When costs increase and management feels pressure ...

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