Roark Capital Group, a private-equity firm, is investing in chains such as Moe's Southwest Grill, McAlister's Deli and Cinnabon. "We have been concerned and bearish about the economy and the debt markets for about 18 months now," Roark's founder and managing partner said. "We have been cautious and haven't invested our capital. Now, we feel like we're ready to start investing again."

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