Casual-Dining Chains In For Rocky 2012

Naton’s Restaurant News reports, “Economic challenges for casual-dining chains will persist into 2012, according to a new report from Goldman Sachs securities analysts Michael Kelter and Chris Cerrone. ”

“The two analysts said Darden Restaurants Inc. is the only company positioned to weather the slow recovery’s drag on consumer spending. Meanwhile, they said The Cheesecake Factory’s plans to reaccelerate growth in the face of several risk factors have prompted them to take a bearish position on the upscale-casual chain’s stock. Kelter and Cerrone noted that the damage done to casual dining during the recession and the customer’s continuing reliance on value promotions have left most brands ill-positioned to struggle through another period of consumer retrenchment. ”

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