Small chains; definitions

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NYNM
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Small chains; definitions - Sun, 09/18/11 9:01 PM
A lot of the comments here are about the large national chains.
 
There are many local restaurants that open a second location, then a third, and so on, but are still "local."
One example is In Vinico in the Southwest. A few years ago they had a nice place in Santa Fe, I think it was the only one. A few years later they opened another in Albuquerque. Then over time, one in Denver, Kansas City, etc. now 10, although 4 are in Albuquerque
http://ilvicino.com/
Another popular, small, family place is El Parasol around Santa Fe. The family had a more formal place north in Espanola, and a sort of take-out burrito place in Santa Fe. Over time they opened 3 more in the area, sort of fast-food sit downs. But it is still the same family, and still regional.
 
So, when do you consider a place a "chain"?
 
 

NYNM
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Re:Small chains; definitions - Sun, 09/18/11 9:04 PM
I see there is a top post attempting to explain the "definition" of a chain. OK. But I am suggesting small places that grow and expand geographically but are still regional.They don't begin as chains. What about these?

NYNM
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Re:Small chains; definitions - Sun, 09/18/11 9:06 PM
Here is website for El Parasol. Good in-between chain and non-chain. (And Delicious burritos!) They are now up to 7 locations, but all quite local.
http://www.elparasol.com/

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Re:Small chains; definitions - Sun, 09/18/11 10:01 PM
I think Avanti's Italian Restaurant/Ristorante ("Home of the Gondola") would meet your definition.  Campustown, Rockwood/Sterling & North Peoria, East Peoria & Pekin, Normal & Bloomington (all in Illinois) make 7 locations operating for up to 45 years (1966).
http://avantispeoria.com/  &  http://www.avantisnormal.com/