Move over chain restaurants, mom and pop — or independent — eateries are becoming more popular as the economy continues to improve from the Great Recession.
Restaurants like Meadowlark in Washington Twp., Gracie’s in Middletown, or Meadows in Springfield are flourishing as hundreds of chains like Chili’s or Applebee’s have closed this year.
Despite chain restaurant closures, Americans are eating out more than they have in recent years, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. Consumer spending at restaurants — including beverage sales — increased to $605 billion (an inflation-adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter, up 4 percent from $584 billion two years earlier — but their money isn’t going to chain eateries.
More than 700 chain restaurant locations have closed this year already in the U.S., according to food industry consulting group Pentallect.
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