Launching a restaurant from idea to full-fledged operation is anything but easy. It's also a huge investment. You have to buy restaurant equipment, hire staff and obtain permits, not to mention entice people to become patrons. Luckily, a new report suggests Atlanta is among the best when it comes to return on investment, or ROI.
That's right — according to the online marketplace Bid-On-Equipment, Atlanta ranks fifth best in the country in restaurant ROI. Here's what the authors found:
- Annual restaurant sales per capita: $3,745
- Restaurants per capita: 295
- Restaurant industry workers per capita:6,333
- Median income in city: $77,382
The single best place to open a restaurant is apparently Arlington, Virginia, the authors found. Arlington sees about $4,500 in restaurant sales per capita each year. The city's median income, meanwhile was up over $108,000 and the area has an abundance of industry workers to choose from. Arlington has more than 7,700 restaurant workers per capita.
The authors noted that sales per capita wasn't the only criteria used in the rankings.
"Overall, when it comes to finding an ideal location to start a restaurant, it's not all about sales," the authors said. "Factors like over-saturation, competition and disposable income are all metrics to keep in mind when researching a market."
With that in mind, here are the top 10 best cities to start a restaurant and their annual sales per capita.
- Arlington, VA — $4,556
- Ann Arbor, MI — $2,877
- Washington, D.C. — $3,622
- San Francisco, CA — $3,851
- Atlanta, GA — $3,745
- Cambridge, MA — $3,962
- Boston, MA — $3,404
- Plano, TX — $2,696
- Seattle, WA — $3,105
The authors highlighted the Washington, D.C. area as a great place to start a restaurant in 2019, with both the nation's capital and Arlington ranking in the top five. Some cities in the MIdwest also make great options.
"Elsewhere on our list, cities with growing restaurant scenes like Austin, Nashville, and Denver show why aspiring restaurant owners might not want to rule out second- and third-tier cities," the authors said.
The authors compared more than 230 cities, including each of the 150 most populous. Data for restaurant sales, restaurants per capita and workforce came from the U.S. Census Bureau. Median income data came from the American Community Survey.