Chris Bright, president of the 98-unit Zpizza chain in Irvine, Calif., learned his restaurant financials before his operations — a career start that could have had a very different outcome had he not been so tenacious.
Twenty years ago Edward Lee was a carefree literature student at the University of Michigan. But when his parents bought a struggling Manhattan diner, Lee was summoned home to pitch in, and he wasn’t happy about it.
The restaurant industry is already dealing with increased costs. Favorable commodities prices — the lone blessing of the recent recession — are quickly disappearing as the U.S. economy slowly emerges from its three-year slump. And according to commodities experts, multiple market factors will continue driving prices for corn, beef, pork, grains and dairy upward well into 2011 and possibly beyond.