As consumers gradually emerge from a lingering recessionary spending mind-set and step up their dining-out frequency, many also are loosening up when it comes to ordering drinks — specifically, wine, beer and cocktails. The sale of alcoholic beverages has largely kept pace with traffic trends, while consumer orders of all other beverages combined have declined over the last five years, according to a new report from market research firm The NPD Group. And while full-service operators ...

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