The National Restaurant Association reported this week that despite a bit of weather-driven sluggishness, business confidence within the restaurant industry remains relatively strong.  For the 24th consecutive month, the NRA Restaurant Performance Index remained above 100.00, clocking in at 102.6 for February, down slightly from January’s mark of 102.7.  The industry was still hiring well above the national average during the month of February, adding just under 59,000 jobs during the month, an increase of 4.3%.  Research and food industry consulting firm Technomic released their annual Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report this week with Dunkin’ landing solidly in the #7 spot, credited with $7.2 Billion in 2014 Total US sales.  Three of the top five restaurants in the report (McDonald’s, Subway and Wendy’s) showed sales declines in 2014.