When starting a restaurant, many business owners feel that locating in a big city seems to be the way to go. If you look at some historical examples, however, that does not seem to always be the case.
There are countless benefits to opening a restaurant in a rural, manufacturingcommunity, and a couple of stories can provide proof for that.
When Dave and Frank Carney decided to open a restaurant in the city of Wichita, Kansas, a city which heavily relies on the manufacturing industry, many questioned it’s ability to be successful. Their ability to create repeat customers from the workers at the plants helped them grow, as did the competitive prices (that were made possible by their lower rent as compared to owning a business in a big city).
While their name might not stand out to most, the name of their business certainly will. That small restaurant that was created in a manufacturing city happens to be the 8th largest chain restaurant in the United States, and is known to the public as Pizza Hut.
Much like the owners of Pizza Hut, Troy Smith had a dream of opening a restaurant in a city that many people wouldn’t even consider. With a current population of just 30,000, Shawnee, Oklahoma is certainly what you would consider a rural community.
He, again like the owners of Pizza Hut, found customers willing to come back because of his willingness to build a restaurant in his community. Out of this town of 30,000 people came “Sonic, America’s Drive-In”, the 10thlargest chain in the United States.
The choice to begin a restaurant in a rural, manufacturing community has even more benefits than the one’s listed in the stories above, especially in HuronTownship. Given the location (right off of I-75 and I-275), there is an opportunity to appeal to drivers who are looking for a place to stop. With the advances in technology that allow for people to search nearby restaurants(Urbanspoon, Yelp, etc.), people will be more than willing to drive the extra couple of minutes on the highway if they know that they’ll be in for good food.
With over 1000 employees looking for a place for breakfast or lunch, the choices are very limited. “We certainly would patronize a new restaurant in our LDFA district and Huron Township,” said LDFA Chairman R.P. Lilly. “Our business managers ask about this subject every time we meet. There are just not enough places to eat in our vacinity.”
In Huron Township, there is a big opportunity for any business owner who is willing to take the risk of opening a restaurant. When you look at some historical examples, it seems as if that’s a risk worth taking.