This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

Breaking the Chain A declaration of independents against chain restaurants

By Judith Potwora

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As chain restaurants extend their reach into urban locales,independent restaurant owners say the best way to protect theirturf is to join forces against the chains.

"The independent restaurant share of the dining-out pie isgetting smaller and smaller," says Don Luria, president of theCouncil ofIndependent Restaurants of America (CIRA), which began in 1999and now has 15 chapters. He points out that the rise in newrestaurants, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics pegs at anywherefrom 8,000 to 10,000 new restaurants per year, mostly comes fromchains and franchises.

"The first thing to do is realize other independentrestaurant owners are not enemies-they're your bestfriends," says Luria, who also owns Cafe TerraCotta in Tucson, a restaurant with $3.5 million in annualsales. The 35 member restaurants of the Tucson Originals, the localCIRA chapter, buy co-op billboard ads together-something theycouldn't afford on their own.