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National Restaurant Association - Entrepreneur Builder

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Industry Impact

Entrepreneur Builder

Get the facts:

  • More minority managers than any other industry
  • 50 percent of restaurant owners are women

Employment in the restaurant industry is surprisingly often the first step toward restaurant ownership. The new restaurants these entrepreneurs open add to the vibrancy of communities and the U.S.’s small business sector.

The restaurant industry is a strong driver of entrepreneurship, offering training, experience and a path to success for men and women of virtually all ethnicities and backgrounds.


Statistics tell the story: 80 percent of restaurant owners started in an entry-level position within the restaurant industry. Clearly, our industry generates restaurant ownership at an impressive rate. And with more than nine in 10 restaurants having fewer than 50 employees, restaurants are fundamental to overall small business creation and development across the country. Equally important, these new restaurants are the small businesses that give our communities character and heart.


A champion of diversity, the restaurant industry boasts more minority managers than any other industry and minority ownership figures are also high. Restaurant ownership between 2007 and 2012 found an 51 percent increase in Hispanic-owned restaurant businesses, a 49 percent increase in African American-owned restaurant businesses, and a 40 percent increase in women-owned restaurants. In fact, half of all restaurants are majorityowned by women.


Through our Faces of Diversity Awards, the National Restaurant Association, in partnership with PepsiCo Foodservice, recognizes individuals in the restaurant industry who have realized the American Dream through hard work, determination and enterprise. Begun in 2006, the program honors individuals whose companies and experience exemplify the opportunities the restaurant industry offers for career success.

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