Restaurants have never been a place where an investor could make a quick buck. You have to develop a concept and its recipes, get financing, design a location, build it out, hire a bunch of people, market the idea, start cooking and then hope people show up.

The virtual restaurant has changed this. As we noted before, MrBeast Burger is the most important restaurant concept in the U.S. today largely because it turns the idea of starting a restaurant concept completely on its head, enabling a concept to open quickly in 300 locations with almost no traditional startup costs.

But it doesn’t even matter if the thing works or not. “It’s so easy to get in the business, make a few bucks and then leave,” said Juan Martinez, principal of the consulting firm Profitality. “Even if it doesn’t work in six months to a year, you’ve made a lot of money because there’s virtually no investment.”

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