The "ugly middle" never lasts. Not in retail, and not in restaurants. What we're seeing right now is a very similar situation that the retail industry faced in 2008 — too many options and not enough money to go around. Those that survived this over saturation in retail were split on one of two sides of the spectrum: either they focused on speed and efficiency or on delivering an elevated experience.
Now, as Eugene Lee, the chief executive of Olive Garden's parent company recently reported, we have restaurants growing at twice the rate of the population. A similar contraction is likely. . . . more