We noted in our July 31 e-newsletter ("Blame It On Chipotle") that a key factor we saw in the casual dining slowdown was the proliferation of lower-priced but very-close-in-quality food options in the fast casual segment. Relative to previous slowdowns, customers who want to spend less without having to prepare a home meal have new, and more interesting, choices than what's available to them at a QSR drive-thru window. People are still eating out, but a meaningful percentage of them now ...
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