There was a time when restaurant chains had to be a certain size or have a certain valuation to win the attention of private equity players. Today, however, private equity firms are flush with cash and see the restaurant industry as rife with growth opportunities. They are scouting big, small and in-between chains, franchisee operations and even young brands just out of the gate. For restaurant operators, the search for “professional money” can be equally vast. Some private ...

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