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You Are What They Eat

A how-to for the budding restaurateur

This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The numbers add up to a tremendous opportunity: Every week, Americans consume an average of 4.2 meals that are prepared away from home--that's 218 meals per year and increasing. By 2010, the restaurant industry will operate more than 1 million units, with sales of $577 billion capturing 53 percent of the consumer food dollar. Will one or more of those units be yours? It can happen--if you have the right recipe for restaurant success.

Most baby boomers can easily remember when "going out to eat" was a special event; today, restaurant meals are an integral part of our everyday lives. Whether we're grabbing a sandwich on the run, sitting down to a leisurely gourmet dinner at a five-star establishment or enjoying one of the many choices in between, we're eating out more than ever--and the trend is expected to continue. There's never been a better time to open a restaurant.

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