CHICAGO —The secret to attaining a competitive edge is simply to build a “moat” around your brand, said Gary A. Williams, president and founder of Kanbay Research Institute. Cracker Barrel has done that, he said, and so have Starbucks, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Taco Bell and Olive Garden. What they’ve actually done is control factors relating to the supply chain, delivery chain and products that give them an edge over competitors, Williams said. —The ...

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