The following guest commentary was written by the staff of the YieldPig investing blog."An army travels on its stomach." -- Napoleon Bonaparte If anyone could tap into the direct correlation between cuisine and global conquest it would be the French, the only people in history that could eat, smoke and drink like that with some of the lowest recorded per capita rates of cancer and heart disease. Granted, the days of "French" and "global conquest" being said or written in the same sentence are the equivalent of the words "Tiger Woods" and "model husband" being used together, but a lot can be said about the strength of a nation's empirical potential and how good the food is. The short version: Take heed. China and India rising. According to the magazine Chinese Restaurant News, there are nearly 41,000 Chinese restaurants in the United States, three times the number of McDonald's ( MCD). Reuters says McDonald's had opened 1,135 stores in mainland China as of the end of 2009. That's quite a long march in comparison for Ronald and Grimace in a country of a billion plus, many who have yet to be served. Although Mickie D's invented the formula for fast food chain standardization, the American Chinese restaurant is the real business model. Uniforms and fancy in-store marketing that create bloated overhead? Nope. Branded cups and wrappers? No, unless you count those waxy paper boxes with the wire handle and red pagoda line drawing that miraculously keep the shrimp and snow peas hot until you get home. Finally, I don't know about you, but I've never found a slip of paper in a hot apple pie that told me I was going to live to 100 and be obscenely wealthy. The Chinese buffet is yet another harbinger. A price of $7.95 for unlimited egg rolls, fried rice and General Tso's chicken is a value few American businesses can duplicate. The proprietor typically keeps the product hot and fresh, constantly flowing from the kitchen in silver bowls. He or she, like a good tavern keep, also knows when to cut the diner who overdoes it off. I've found anecdotal evidence of a zaftig diner being told by a buffet owner that he wasn't allowed to come back because he ate too much. Not exactly politically correct, but business is war, so sayeth Sun Tzu. Incidentally, 62% of all American Chinese buffets have "No. 1" in the name while 38% have "Super" somewhere on the sign. About 57% of the total use both "Super" and "No. 1". Every now and then, they'll throw in "Happy."