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5 Restaurants Worth a Bite — and a Buy-in

A number of familiar sit-down eateries with portfolio potential

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While welcoming our old friend Burger King (NYSE:BKW) back into the publicly traded fold, it still bears noting that — along with its main competitors, McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) and Wendy’s (NASDAQ:WEN) — the King still is just fast food.

Sure, these guys have all made strides to offer healthier menus, and yes, the dining experience generally is better than, say, 10 years ago. But really, you don’t go there for the ambiance. You go because it’s quick and you know what to expect. Still, sometimes we want to actually go out, sit down with the family and enjoy a leisurely meal.

The restaurant business is huge in the U.S. and increasingly overseas. In my state of Maryland alone, restaurant sales are projected at $9.8 billion from the 10,000-plus eating and drinking establishments, with every extra $1 million producing 23 additional jobs, according to National Restaurant Association statistics. Multiply that by the remaining states, and you get an idea of the overall market: ginormous.

So the next time you’re enjoying a sit-down meal with your family, you might want to look around and consider whether that eatery should have a place in your portfolio. But for now, I’ll do some of the legwork for you. Here’s a look at five restaurant stocks worth biting into:

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