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Mass Appeal

Reaching consumers nationwide is this restaurateur's plan for her healthy fast-food business. What will it take?

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This story appears in the July 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

To grow HeartWise, her Chicago restaurant, into a nationally recognized chain, Rosemary Deahl must first deal with the sad memories of once-hopeful restaurateurs who tried and failed to turn their concepts into nationwide success. Deahl's goals may be lofty, but she's certain her restaurant's healthy, high-quality fast food has the right combination to avoid the fate of similarly structured concepts hurt by rapid growth and weak corporate infrastructure.

When Deahl and her management team first sought financing, they approached angel investors and noted Chicago restaurant consultants, who liked the concept but questioned its national appeal. Undaunted, Deahl is now trying her luck with the venture capital market, but she's finding the going is tough there, too.

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