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How May We Serve You? For Restaurant Chains, It Depends on the Location

Executives at the Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão thought they had seen the worst of it.Earlier in the year, when seemingly each hour brought news of another city or state abruptly shutting down because of the pandemic, executives switched from email to the messaging system WhatsApp to communicate in real time with the general managers of their 43 U.S.-based restaurants scattered around the country.“The first time we heard a state issue a stay-at-home order we were like, ‘What does that mean? What are they talking about?’” said Barry McGowan, the chief executive of Fogo de …

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