Wherever Burton "Skip" Sack, longtime restaurant-owner and chairman of the board of directors of the National Restaurant Association goes, he runs into people who want to open a restaurant, too.
"With doctors, lawyers and businesspeople, it's an ego thing," Mr. Sack says, "like owning a sports team. They've made money in other professions and think they can invest in a great chef or manager and have a place to entertain their friends. Such neophytes don't know that owning a restaurant is capital-intensive, labor-intensive hard work."
To show just how difficult the process is, we spoke to three people -- a multi-unit franchisee, a franchiser and a would-be owner -- we'd met at the Restaurant Finance and Development Conference in Las Vegas and asked them to share their stories.