In the summer of 2003, Chris Simms and Roshan Mendis opened Lazy Dog Café, a rustic eatery inspired by Simms’ Wyoming lodge vacations, in Orange County, California. The café was a hit, and today the pair have eight locations throughout California. Lazy Dog Café is known for its large portions and a wide-ranging cuisine—from classic comfort food like pot roast to beach fare such as seared ahi tuna tacos. For Simms, entrepreneurship runs in the family: his father, Tom Simms, is the proprietor of Mimi’s Café, a chain with locations in 24 states.

LocationWestwinster, Calif.
2010 Systemwide Sales ($000,000)$25,500,000*
YOY Sales Change55.5%
2010 U.S. Units7
YOY Unit Change40.0%
2010 Average Unit Volume ($000)$4,300,000*
Future 50 Year2011
*Technomic estimate