>Restaurants Invest To Stay Ahead Of Consumer Rebound

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>NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Restaurants are joining consumers in re-opening their wallets.

Several chains are showing more of an appetite to invest in new products, store remodels and more marketing as signs emerge that restaurants are cementing a recovery.

The willingness to invest comes after restaurants broadly reined in costs during the downturn by shutting stores, working employees less amid weak demand and cutting back on wasting ingredients. With expenses down to survival-mode levels, restaurants are now reaping healthy profits as consumers begin to emerge from a spending coma.

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