Huntsville Among Best Cities to Start a Restaurant

We all know that restaurant openings have become almost a monthly occurrence here in the Rocket City.

Well, now we know why.

According to, a restaurant equipment supply business, Huntsville was ranked 23rd among the 150 most populous U. S. cities, just behind New Orleans (22nd) and ahead of such “food cities” as Memphis and Nashville. Its ranking is the highest in the state.

Opening a restaurant is a risky endeavor that includes many factors that play into the success of a restaurant – none more important than location.

The Washington, D.C., area dominates the top of the list with both D.C. and Arlington ranking No. 3 and No. 1, respectively. San Francisco, which is home to the most restaurants per capita, also falls within the top 5. Elsewhere, cities with growing restaurant scenes like Austin, Nashville, and Denver show why aspiring restaurant owners might not want to rule out second- and third-tier cities.

While there are many cities known for their cuisine that made are list, such as San Francisco, Miami, Charleston, and New Orleans, it’s interesting to see smaller cities such as Huntsville, Chattanooga, Fort Collins and Raleigh make the cut as well.  

Overall, when it comes to finding an ideal location to start a restaurant, it’s not all about sales. Factors like over-saturation, competition and disposable income are all metrics to keep in mind when researching a market.  

To determine the best cities to open a restaurant, compared 236 cities. From there, they considered annual restaurant sales per capita, competition and market saturation (restaurants per capita), workforce (the number of restaurant industry workers per capita) as well as median income in each city.

An overall weighted average was based on the following – sales: 50 points (annual restaurant sales per capita); competition: 25 points (number of restaurants per capita); workforce: 10 points (number of restaurant industry workers per capita); and income: 15 points (median income).

For the complete list, visit