With McDonald's hamburgers and Kentucky Fried Chicken rapidly becoming standard fare for urban Chinese, one could be forgiven for assuming Chinese diners would welcome additional U.S. restaurant chains with open arms.

But China did not take a liking to American-style breakfast pastries. Dunkin' Donuts' China operations went belly up in the past year. Tex-Mex did not appeal to the cheese-wary Chinese diner either, Beijing's only chili restaurant recently closed its doors.

Unrealistically ambitious expansion plans, poor management and finicky Chinese customers have crushed the dreams of many starry-eyed entrepreneurs, anxious to sell doughnuts or burritos to 1.3 billion expanding waistlines.

But for one struggling U.S. restaurant chain, the China market has provided one of its few success stories.