Sales rose 3.5 percent for the 500 largest restaurant chains across the U.S. in 2013, but that increase was significantly lower than the 4.9-percent growth seen in 2012, according to an annual survey released Monday by research firm Technomic Inc. U.S. systemwide sales for the Top 500 chains grew to an estimated $264 billion last year, rising more than $8.8 billion compared with 2012. Still, the pace of growth appears to be slowing, said Ron Paul, Technomic’s ...

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