Operations

The best U.S. cities to open a restaurant

A new study highlights the large urban centers where a small business like a restaurant has the best chance of succeeding.

If entrepreneurs want to enhance their chances of succeeding with a new restaurant, they should grab a map of Oklahoma City and start hunting for sites, according to a new study.

The report ranks the energy center as the best large city in the nation to launch a small business like a restaurant, largely because of the business environment. Oklahoma City scored high on such factors as job growth and the five-year survival rate of ventures.

Best large cities to open a small business

It also scored high on the subranking of cities by their business affordability.

Most and least expensive cities

Oklahoma City was one of the more populous cities to rank among the top 10 locations overall. Included were such remote municipalities as Sioux Falls, S.D. (third), Missoula, Mont. (fourth), Bismarck, N.D. (sixth), and Cheyenne, Wyo. (seventh). But No. 2 was Austin, Texas, the fourth largest city by population in the nation’s second largest state restaurant market.

The Best Large Cities to Start a Business ranking was compiled by WalletHub, a website that provides users with credit scores and credit reports.  The list was based on a variety of criteria, from real estate costs to the availability of labor, access to capital and historic revenue growth.

It found that the five worst cities in which to open a restaurant or other small business, based purely on labor costs, included three urban areas of California: San Jose, Irvine and Fremont. The absolute worst, the study indicated, is Pearl City, Hawaii.

Columbia, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C., ranked fourth.

Labor rates are lowest in Detroit; Cleveland; Hialeah, Fla.; Huntington, W.Va.; and Miami, according to the report.

Detroit had the highest availability of what the study called human capital, while Charleston, S.C., had the lowest.

WalletHub has also compiled rankings of the best and worst small cities in which to open a restaurant or other small business. 

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