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Editor's Note: The New Bare-Bones Restaurant Model How can this economy work for you? Just take a look at restaurants.

By Amy Cosper

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the midst of the worst recession in modern history, something spectacular is happening: Restaurants are opening. In fact, lots of restaurants are opening. Don't believe it? Try this: Applications to open food establishments in New York City were up 25 percent over 2008 in the first four months of this year.

This trend, which is explained brilliantly in Regina Schrambling's feature, "Why Now Is the Time to Open a Restaurant", probably seems counterintuitive in the current economy. But you know what? It's not: Recessions create opportunities--even in the notoriously temperamental restaurant industry. People still need to eat, and they still need that hour or two of convivial escape (desperately).

Of course, opening a restaurant today means something very different than it did in those halcyon days--about a year ago--when menus boasted $75 Kobe beef burgers and $1,500 bottles of Burgundy.

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