More and more, those who have a desire to open a business of their own are finding that opening a restaurant franchise is very profitable. It is predicted that restaurant sales will reach $577 billion in sales by 2010. The restaurant business industry now employs 8% of all workers employed in the United States. That comes to about 11 million people, and makes them the largest employer next to the government. Restaurants have been satisfying the hunger of people for ages, and restaurant franchising is around to add to the growth of the industry. In 1950, Colonel Harlan Sanders introduced his Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise and built a chain of over 600 restaurants by 1960. McDonalds was franchised in 1955, and so were House of Pancakes, Tastee Freeze, Dairy Queen, and Dunkin Donuts. Baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) are often the folks opening new restaurants and fast food establishments. They have sophisticated tastes and the money to make their ideas a reality. They demand fresher ingredients, healthier dishes, and vegetarian options. Baby boomers are credited with setting the pace for what does and doesn’t work when it comes to successful restaurants. When they dine out they want high quality, no matter where they are eating. More and more people are holding full time jobs, leaving little time to prepare meals at home. Quick serve restaurants continue to be fueled by the consumer’s ever increasing need for convenience. More than half of all adults say they are busy, and convenience is a critical part of their lives. While older consumers demand quality, younger customers want convenience. 55% of consumers between the ages of 25 and 34 admit they are usually in a hurry and want fast service. This sparks the growing need for quick service restaurants. Takeout restaurants are also a growing trend. 78% of all households in the United States use take out or delivery service at least once a month. These people consider themselves very value conscious. Many investors are buying into co-branded franchises. Co-branding refers to franchising two or more different brands in one location (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, & Kentucky Fried Chicken). All three are housed in one building, instead of building three different restaurants. These restaurants are responsible for more than 29,000 restaurants, and more are popping up all the time. There are also multiple franchising concepts with Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins in the same building. Some franchisors take their products overseas. Subway has nearly 800 international franchises (not counting Canada). If you add Canada they number around 2,000. The size of the company has helped with their popularity in other countries. Whether you are selling sandwiches across the sea, or have an upscale dining establishment uptown. The outlook looks strong for food franchising in the next ten years. As long as consumers continue to eat at restaurants, the franchise opportunity will be a gainful one.