NerdWallet examined 530 U.S. cities, each with a population of at least 50,000, to determine the best cities to open restaurants in. Cedar Park, Texas, took the top spot. The suburb of Austin has doubled its restaurant growth over five years, partly in response to new residents.
Mission, Texas, Franklin, Tennessee, Smyrna, Georgia, Round Rock, Texas, Frisco, Texas, Alpharetta, Georgia, Fishers, Indiana, Milpitas, California, and Southaven, Mississippi, rounded out the top 10.
Using U.S. Census Bureau data, scores were based on demand for new restaurants and local economic conditions that could affect the success of those restaurants. Demand was analyzed by looking at population growth and density, and also media annual income and income growth, as well as restaurant sales per resident and the number of new eateries. Economic conditions were assessed by looking at payroll costs, and growth in labor and media housing costs.
A breakdown of the scoring system:
Demand (60 percent of the overall score), is based on seven metrics each weighted at 8.6 percent of the score:
- Population growth from 2010 to 2013. Higher growth contributed to a higher score.
- Population density. A higher concentration of residents per square mile contributed to a higher score.
- Percentage of residents age 35-54. A higher percentage contributed to a higher score.
- Median annual income. A higher median income contributed to a higher score.
- Median annual income growth. A higher growth rate contributed to a higher score.
- Sales in restaurants per resident. Higher sales contributed to a higher score.
- Number of new restaurants opened from 2002 to 2007. Higher growth contributed to a higher score.
Operating conditions (40 percent of the overall score), is based on three metrics, each weighted at 13.3 percent of the score:
- Payroll costs as a percentage of revenue. A lower percentage contributed to a higher score.
- Restaurant labor cost growth per employee. Lower growth in labor costs contributed to a higher score.
- Median monthly housing costs. Lower housing costs contributed to a higher score.
News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.