Restaurants can have all the great food, attentive service and clever marketing they can muster, but if they’re not smart about food costs, they’re still doomed to failure. Although commodity costs are expected to be manageable in the months ahead — in a December report Barclays analyst Jeffrey Bernstein projected food inflation would be “benign” in 2014 — operators remain anxious about controlling food costs, or the percentage of a menu item’s ...

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