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Chewing the Fat: Breaking The Chains?

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Driving around DFW, you have to take notice of the seemingly endless strips of six-lane traffic and the stores and restaurants on either side.

Yeah, local dining hasn't suffered as much as in other parts of the U.S. But with Bloomberg reporting today that restaurants have a greater chance of failing than a year ago, it's tough not to think about the sheer number of eateries and wonder how consumers were ever able to support them all. Was demand ever that high?

Ivestopedia suggests over expansion and excessive debt will be a contributing factor to the failure of many chains. Starbucks already learned that lesson. And the article mentions that Ruby Tuesday's recently closed 43 locations. Another chain tightly linked to shopping malls, Sbarro, made the US News list of 15 companies that might not survive 2009. With vultures circling the mall scene, Panda Express might be on the endangered species list too.

But hey, the recession can't last forever, right? Investopedia's outlook isn't too rosy. "Even after the recession ends, annual spending by U.S. consumers could experience a permanent downshift of as much as $1 trillion."

Strange. It seems like the Dallas restaurant scene took it's biggest hit last summer and fall.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.