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Carrabba's Italian Grill

Financing

Turnaround plans yield results in casual dining

The latest flurry of earnings reports show clear sales and traffic improvement for a number of the sector's big brands.

Operations

Famous Dave's to try delivery-only format

The casual chain is looking at kitchen-only formats after shrinking the size and tweaking the back of house of its conventional stores.

More than half of the restaurant industry’s $491 billion in sales come from the Top 500 chains. And these giants grew at a modestly stronger rate, both in terms of sales and store counts, than the industry overall. Restaurant Business focused on the leading 250 performers to identify trends for our first-ever special report delivering lessons from Technomic’s annual Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report. This special package includes lessons for all operators from the largest chains by segment, menu category and more.

A look at the casual-dining chains satisfying consumers with their dine-in services, but not doing quite as well with takeout.

Italian heavyweight Olive Garden increased sales by 3%, helping to drive the menu category's 1.9% sales growth, to $8.5 billion.

Express combines selections from Outback and Carrabba's into a delivery-and-takeout-only format.

More chains are giving a self-delivery/third-party hybrid a try.

Fourth quarter results were the best for parent Bloomin' Brands in five years.

Bloomin' Brands agreed to add an industry veteran to its board under an agreement with Jana Partners, one of two shareholders that have been sympathetic to spinning off secondary brands.

Early Q1 earnings reports show some big-name players reaping the benefits of programs that began long ago.

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