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Today's NY Times included the U.S. map pictured below, which highlights the parts of the country that are being hardest hit by rising gas prices relative to income levels. According to the map, people living in parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming are spending the biggest percent of their incomes on filling up their gas tanks. This has to take a toll on discretionary spending, such as dining out!
  • Within the casual dining segment, the O'Charley's concept has about 37% of its store base exposed to these hardest hit states. Thirty percent of LongHorn Steakhouse's restaurants are located in these states while Steak n Shake and Ruby Tuesday both have about 20% exposure.