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The 20 Best Cities For Opening Up A Restaurant

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If you’re a foodie who is thinking of opening up a restaurant, you probably know — and apologies if this is the first time you’ve heard it — but it is HARD, HONEY. While it’s a myth that most new eateries fail right away, the truth isn’t much better: most restaurants only have an average lifespan of 4.5 years, which is probably about half as long as it took the owner to save up the funds to open it!

Then, once it’s open you have to compete with rising labor costs, fickle food trends, evolving technology, seasonal downturns and workers that probably aren’t keen on making this a lifelong career.

But, it’s not all bad news. More than 1 million restaurants operate in America and generate $799 billion in sales according to a LendingTree report. The financial site also analyzed 50 of the largest U.S. cities to see which places are cooking up some seriously hot culinary opportunities for folks interested in opening their own eatery.

After looking at factors the average annual revenue for local restaurants, estimated payroll costs, other dining options and the number of eateries per 100,000 residents aged 35-54 (the hungriest sector of the population, apparently) the site came up with these 20 cities that they deemed the best for opening up an eatery.

Overall, it’s pretty obvious that markets like NYC and San Francisco are stuffed to the gills with restaurants already. And surprise surprise, the prime locations are mostly located in “flyover country” and really, it makes sense. Chefs and cooks who moved to big cities realize pretty quickly that it’d cost an arm and a leg to open up their dream bistro in SoHo. So why toil for years in kitchens on the coasts when you could move to the middle — and probably closer to family, for most people — and actually become a bigger fish in a smaller pond?

So if you’re considering opening up your own chicken wing hut or omakase sushi joint, read on to see where people are hungry for more good food!

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