For many restaurants, 2013 was a challenging year, as consumers, facing higher payroll taxes and feeling a continued unease about the future, were cautious about discretionary spending. But a different story was being told at fine-dining restaurants, where the growing spending power of affluent consumers, and improved corporate spending and travel trends, fueled sales that are expected to remain strong as 2014 unfolds. “Each month [of 2013] individually has beat 2012,” said ...

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