With more than 300 restaurants in Floyd and Bartow counties alone and new ones on the way, the Northwest Georgia restaurant industry seems to be booming.
According to the Georgia Restaurant Association, food sales have been steadily increasing over the last three years with approximately $16.5 billion in sales in 2014 and $17.1 billion projected this year.
“Overall, the restaurant industry is on a steady incline. Though it is not as high as it was before the recession, it has steadily increased over the past three years and for the most part over the past eight years as there were higher rates of growth in 2011 and 2012. In Georgia, sales have increased 3.8 percent in dollars,” says Rachel Bell, marketing and communications manager with GRA.
According to latest statistics from the National Restaurant Association, there are 169 restaurants in Floyd, 159 in Bartow, 78 in Polk and 89 in Gordon. GRA officials say those numbers should include a 4% range of error for restaurants that may have recently closed, opened or duplicate listings.
And those figures are set to rise with all of the restaurants planned or in the works in Floyd and Bartow counties. Both fast-food and table-service restaurants are coming soon, including J.R. Crickets and Crawdaddy’s Cajun and Creole coming to Broad Street; two replacement Wendy’s locations on Turner McCall and Martha Berry to make room for Krispy Kreme and a rumored Del Taco; a brick oven pizza concept proposed for the Cotton Block; Dr. Raj Miniyar’s 14-spot international food court in downtown Rome; new McDonald’s and Hardee’s restaurants coming to Cartersville; and that doesn’t include the growth at LakePoint in Emerson (Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s have opened there so far this year).
“The restaurant industry appears strong. As the economy continues to rebound, residents feel more confident in enjoying meals out,” says Regina Wheeler, deputy director with Cartersville-Bartow Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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