On the Brinker: Taking Stock of Fast Casual, Before the Grill's Closed

Things haven't been good in the fast-casual dining business for a long while, as the slowdown in the semi-fancy burger biz started well before The Artist Formerly Known as the Economy went into the crapper -- right, Bennigan's? Today, CFO magazine looks to see what's on the menu in coming months -- and looks no further than Dallas-based Brinker International, which, for the last long while, has seen its stock slip and downgraded from well-done to medium-rare even as some Chili's were adiosed.

Says Brinker executive VP and COO Chuck Sonsteby of how bad things have gotten: "I don't think anyone has ever seen anything like this. These are truly historic times." Many reasons are offered, but there are few solutions -- chiefly, because no one can afford an extreme makeover. --Robert Wilonsky

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