How do you make a small fortune? Start with a large one and open a restaurant.
The difficulties of running a U.S. eatery, whether selling hot dogs or haute cuisine, are well known, yet hope continues to triumph over experience. In a country saturated with chains, NPD Group estimates that about 53% of restaurants are still independent, despite their high failure rate—especially in the first year. The pandemic made being a restaurateur even tougher: About 10% of independent restaurants shut down in 2020 compared with just 2.5% of those belonging to chains, according to data from Morgan Stanley and Euromonitor.