Light at the end of the tunnel? Prosperity just around the corner? Been down so long it looks like up to you? Pick your cliché to describe the results of foodservice research firm NPD’s report showing a small increase in customer traffic and spending late last year. Hey, it’s a start. It’s true that things were so bad in the restaurant business in 2008 and 2009 that positive year-over-year comparisons are easy to make right now. But it still qualifies as good news when NPD tells us that ...

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