It looks like whatever damage soaring energy prices and the real estate bubble didn’t do to the full-service restaurant business this spring and summer, fallout from the near-meltdown of the financial system will do this fall and winter. But if a recession will reduce demand for restaurant meals—that’s what the restaurant chains that participated in the recent RBC Capital Markets Consumer Conference see on the horizon—how come food costs are predicted to take such a big jump next year? ...

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