Looking at per capita income and restaurants, size of the workforce and median incomes, a restaurant equipment reseller has published its list of the 50 best U.S. cities in which to start a restaurant. Using U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey data, it’s a data-based ranking that’s worth a look.

Weighing the various factors, Bid-On-Equipment.com’s list gives the highest ranking to annual restaurant sales per capita. The number of restaurant competitors, size of the workforce and income are weighted less heavily to compile this best-of list.

At the top of the list is Arlington, Virginia, with $4,556 in per capita restaurant sales, 370 restaurants per capita within the city, 7,711 industry workers per capita and a median income of more than $108,000. In case I don’t get another opportunity, allow me to say per capita one more time.

Moving down the list, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Atlanta round out the top five. From there, it’s Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, booming Plano, Texas, Seattle and Bellevue, Washington taking us through the top 10.

Red-hot Austin, Texas, came in at #12, Denver at 14, New Orleans at 22 and my home of Minneapolis at 27, one spot behind Houston. It’s likely no surprise that New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles are not included in the ranking. At least Chicago and L.A. have suburbs represented, but no love for the biggest cities, which have a reputation of onerous regulations that stifle the development of new restaurants.

Click HERE for the rest of the list, and remember that any city can be a good opportunity with the right brand, cuisine and business plan.

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