It is a current trend for successful restaurant operators to build their concepts to five or so units and then sell them off to venture capitalists who have the wherewithal to expand them. This is a good thing and a nice payday for the founders who put in all the effort to develop the concepts and prove their viability.
Other operators, who are also successful, choose to keep their restaurants and continue to manage their day-to-day success.
At least two operators on this list, Danny Meyer and Sam Fox, have sold some concepts and kept others, but the rest — some veterans, and others relative newcomers — continue to operate the restaurants that they opened and remain important members of the communities they serve.
This list is not complete by any stretch of the imagination, but it highlights the broad mix of restaurateurs that are worthy of honor and celebration.
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