It can take a while for a small restaurant to turn a profit, so it helps for owners to have other sources of income. That strategy paid off for Jennifer Yeaple, who kept a second job for two years after she and her husband opened Poppy's Burgers and Fries in Beacon, N.Y. "No matter what philosophies I carried into this business, none of that would matter if I couldn't run a business and if I couldn't stay in business," her husband, Paul, says.

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