Margin pain on the horizon: Restaurants could get squeezed this year from a combination of...

|By:, SA News Editor

Margin pain on the horizon: Restaurants could get squeezed this year from a combination of higher commodity costs and frugal consumers, according to AlixPartners. Though traffic is forecast to rise 3%, the average ticket is expected to decline 4.7% with coupons, promotions, and discounts gaining favor. Chains that are expected to ride out the expected tough environment are those that can deliver healthy food fast. Chipotle (CMG -1.8%), privately-held Subway, and Panera (PNRA -1.5%) fit the bill.