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Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen

Leadership

3 restaurant leaders being put to a test

Situations at Applebee's, Dunkin' and Darden will be true tests of some promising leaders' mettle.

Financing

At LongHorn, smaller menu yields more sales

A “back to basics” approach helps most of Darden’s casual-dining concepts generate sales.

When it comes to restaurant brands, the sales leaders are not always consumers’ favorites for a variety of reasons. Chains best at parlaying customer satisfaction into sales are hard to beat.

The chain rebranded in 2015 to further promote its affordable, made-from-scratch fare

The chain rebranded in 2015 to further promote its affordable, made-from-scratch fare

Overall, the varied menu category is flat, up .3% in sales to $23.9 billion and .5% in units to 7,792.

For $780 million in cash, the parent of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse will add a growth chain with familiar management.

Is the industry going a little crazy, or is it just a garden-variety midlife crisis? Here's the evidence to consider.

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