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American casual-dining players breaking into slump-hit Brazil

Brazilians, who enjoy dining out but are priced out of posher eateries, are going for mid-range F&B choices

Published Tue, Nov 18, 2014 · 09:50 PM

Sao Paulo

BRAZILIAN consumers, squeezed by stagnant growth and a weaker currency, are buying fewer foreign goods, but one American import that is thriving in this recession is Red Lobster.

After some chains failed in their previous attempts to break into Latin America's biggest economy, US casual-dining operators are expanding again. Restaurants from PF Chang's to Tony Roma's are popping up to meet demand from middle-class consumers, who - priced out of higher-end eateries - are looking for a classier night out than their no-shirt-required corner bar.

Red Lobster Seafood Co, acquired by Golden Gate Capital Corp in July, opened its first two restaurants in Brazil this year and has plans for 12 more. TGI Fridays Inc. is making a comeback after a four-year absence. And Dunki…

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