The economic downturn has driven more consumers from casual chains toward lower-priced, fast-casual eateries and the occasional higher-priced splurge. U.S. consumers made about 600 million fewer visits to casual eateries last year compared to 2008. "We know casual dining is not the bright, shining star that it used to be," Brinker CEO Wyman Roberts said.
Casual chains feel the winds of change
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