When considering expansion anywhere in the United States, restaurant operators have to weigh many factors into the decision. Growth in population and growth in restaurant sales are strong predictors of potential success, as are the overall business climate, economic vitality, and competitive nature of the market. Before a national restaurant chain, regional restaurant group, or independent entrepreneur commits to opening a new unit, there have to be quantifiable metrics that reinforce the viability of current market conditions, as well as suggest strong prospects for the future.
These 10 states boast a compelling mix of the elements restaurateurs expect to see and distinguish themselves from their 40 U.S. peers as being the best candidates for expansion.
Current U.S. Population: 316,128,839; population change, 2010–2013: 2.4%.
Projected population change 2010–2020: ProximityOne http://proximityone.com
U.S. population change 2010-2020: 9.5%
Number of full-service restaurants: The NPD Group/ReCount®, Fall 2013
Total in U.S.: 299,073.
Full-service restaurants per 100,000 residents: Compiled from population and full-service restaurant figures; the U.S. average is 94.60.
Projected 2014 restaurant sales: NRA, www.restaurant.org
Unemployment rate: Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2013 www.bls.gov
Median household income: U.S. Census Bureau, 2008-2012, http://quickfacts.census.gov
U.S. average household income: $53,046.
Business Tax Score: Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Business Tax Index www.sbecouncil.org
The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s Business Tax Index 2013 ranks states from best to worst in terms of the costs of their tax systems on entrepreneurship and small business. The 2013 edition combines 21 different tax measures into one tax score that allows the 50 states to be compared and ranked.