At first glance, there’s little good news for full-service operators in NPD Group’s recent summation of restaurant industry growth in 2013. Only the fast-casual segment shows positive numbers—traffic was up 8 percent last year. Meanwhile, the family, midscale-casual and fine-dining segments are limping along with 2-percent growth. Adjusted for inflation, they’re going nowhere fast. How come? The fast-casual revolution means that full service has to compete on two ...

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