Assuming that spiraling gas prices don’t pull the rug out from under any fragile recovery, restaurant operators might finally feel like celebrating a little this year. In its 2012 forecast released earlier this month, the National Restaurant Association projected that restaurant sales will grow 3.5 this year, to $632 billion. Another recent report from Packaged Facts, “The Foodservice Landscape in the U.S.,” was even more optimistic, predicting a 4.2 percent ...

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