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Eat Up!

Have a big helping of the top restaurant franchises for 2008.

Celebrities do it, athletes do it--the idea of starting a restaurant holds an allure that few can resist. And yet behind the glamour of owning the next hot hangout is the hard reality of starting from scratch and operating as an independent restaurateur in a highly competitive market.

Perhaps that's why restaurant franchises have been so successful. Besides proven methods of operation and established supplier connections, franchising also offers two ingredients that are invaluable to any startup restaurateur: a brand name and built-in word-of-mouth. And with the variety in the market, you don't need to sacrifice your creative vision to join a franchise system--there are restaurant franchises ranging from the traditional to the exotic, from hamburgers to Caribbean cuisine.

Our listing of the top 117 restaurant franchises for 2008 offers you a first bite. These franchises are presented in category order according to Entrepreneur's Franchise 500�, the world's most comprehensive ranking of franchise companies.

This ranking is not intended to endorse, promote or recommend any particular franchise company. Rather, it's a tool for your franchise research, which should include interviews with existing franchisees, counsel from your attorney and accountant, and reviews of all the company's literature.

Listing compiled by Tracy Stapp

For more on starting a restaurant, including equipment checklists, floor plans, how-to articles and listings of nearly 400 restaurant franchises, visit our
Restaurant Center.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the April 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Eat Up!.

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