Where should restaurant chains go to expand? Look at these states.
Page 6, Continued
Projected Population Gain by 2020: 22.3%
Number of Full-Service Restaurants: 1,372
Full-Service Restaurants per 100,000 Residents: 49.6
Utah Restaurant Association: www.utahdineout.com
Projected 2012 Growth in Restaurant Sales: 3.6%
Business Tax Index: 34.533
Median Household Income: $56,787
At 22.3 percent, no state is projected to see a higher rate of population growth by 2020 than Utah.
That’s good news for the state’s restaurateurs, especially since so many residents place a premium on family time that propels restaurant spending, Utah Restaurant Association President and CEO Melva Sine says. Meanwhile, a surge in the Gen Y demographic, so many of them eager for new experiences, has further energized the state’s culinary scene.
“We are seeing an increase in all cuisines in Utah,” Sine says.
Sine cites recent national rankings as the Best Managed State and Best Place to Do Business as proof of Utah’s pro-business environment. The state motto, in fact, is one word: “Industry.”
“Utah has a balanced budget and a governor who wants to reduce many of the regulations that prevent business growth,” Sine says.
In spite of the state’s challenging liquor laws, Utah restaurateur Hersh Ipaktchian, who owns nine Iggy’s Sports Grill eateries in Utah, including eight in the Salt Lake City area, sees positives for operators who understand the regulatory environment.
“So long as you don’t rely on the same liquor sales formula that takes place in other parts of the country, you’ll be fine,” Ipaktchian says.