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The hospitality industry (especially the restaurant segment) has a historically high rate of financial failures. Yet, financial failure in the industry has not received the attention it deserves. In this article, the authors identify basic reasons underlying failed ideas while presenting a study of several hospitality chains that have experienced varying degrees of financial failure. The characteristics and pitfalls of these companies provide the necessary groundwork to explore major lessons to be learned which should aid hospitality management to aviod future business failures.