The daily special is growing increasingly so. Long a way to reduce kitchen waste, the special has grown into a potent marketing tool and a sizable outlet for chef creativity. More recently, it’s expected to take on a new role as a way around the federal menu-labeling requirements set to go into effect this year. “Back in the day, if you couldn’t sell something it became a special,” said Edward McFarland, chef-owner of Ed’s Lobster Bar in New York, who now sees ...

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