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One little thing like this isn't a huge barrier to entry, but a hundred little things like this make a whopper of a barrier to entry.

The "little things" involved in setting up a restaurant are in totality encyclopedic, and yet mom-and-pop teams start restaurants every day in the US.

if you worry about what laws you might be breaking every time you want to do something, you'll never get anywhere. i suspect that most new restaurants are in violation of dozens if not hundreds of laws, but in reality they either aren't enforced or the owners are given an opportunity to fix whatever is wrong without penalty. follow the laws you know, don't go looking for ones you might be breaking, and when the government tells you that you're breaking a law remind them how many people you're employing.

You're probably right in some sense, but there are many laws --- liquor licensing, health inspection, and employment, in particular --- that are actively enforced and a day-to-day reality for restauranteurs.

The money in commercial real estate is in larger projects.

Govt gets more involved as the amount of money goes up.

The NYC govt doesn't much care about a small deli. It gets seriously involved if you're developing a whole block, or trying to build a wal mart.

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