The National Restaurant Association reports that the restaurant industry grew nearly five percent between 2016 and 2017, with most of the growth generated by fast-casual concepts. As the industry continues to trend upwards, cities around the country are welcoming new restaurants with open arms. Here are five cities that are almost begging restaurateurs to open businesses.
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City offers a low cost-of-living for workers and a young demographic for business owners. What else could you want? The city has seen a net population growth in five of the last six years, and has a high concentration of millennials. Plus, Entreprenuer.com reports that the pesky paperwork necessary for starting a new business in the city can be completed in one day.
- Cedar Park, Texas
The metropolitan area around Austin, Texas (where Cedar Park is located) is quickly becoming a go-to destination for restaurant owners. The total number of restaurants in the area doubled between 2010 and 2015, according to Investopedia. Their analysts argue that this growth is not cause for concern, rather, it is validation that eateries are thriving there.
- Alpharetta, Georgia
Alpharetta is about 30 minutes north of Atlanta, but it has all of the amenities that a large city offers business owners. According to NerdWallet, Alpharetta restaurants gross nearly $300 million in revenue annually. That breaks down to about $6,000 in annual spending per resident, second only to Miami Beach, Florida.
- Port St. Lucie, Florida
CNBC reports that this city offers good schools, affordable living, and most importantly a low unemployment rate. The Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center is nearby and has helped startups get their foothold in the city’s market. It is also a great sports town with large ties to baseball (spring training) and golf via the PGA Learning Center, Historical Center, and Hall of Fame.
- Charlotte, North Carolina
Chef2Chef found that Charlotte saw a 26 percent increase in food and beverage establishments between 2009 and 2013. The city has also seen a growth in craft breweries and food trucks, making it ripe for innovative restaurants to come and leave their mark.