10 Best California Cities to Start a Restaurant
After more than a year, people finally feel comfortable enough to open new businesses again. As they open their doors this summer, owners are still looking for the best place to put down roots. From COVID-19 regulations to whole new pools of customers, different cities have their own pros and cons. If you’re an entrepreneur looking at the west coast, here are the 10 best cities in California to start a new restaurant right now.
Where to Open a Restaurant in California
With the state reopening, cities set their own jurisdiction about how closely to follow mask mandates and other rules. Within that, restaurants decide what’s best for them and their customers. Using 21 metrics, including available opportunities and your likelihood of success, one study found the hundred best places to open a restaurant. Out of those, we took the top ten in California to break down further.
- Irvine. Ranking best in education out of these ten cities, opening here could mean recruiting more qualified applicants.
- Long Beach. With the most human capital available, restaurants can cut down on those undefinable costs and interpersonal obstacles that make running a streamlined team such hard work.
- Stockton. This Central Valley city boasts the cheapest average rent on the list. If you’re worried about keeping overhead costs low, then this may be the place for you.
- Los Angeles. You can’t get a culture like L.A. anywhere else. If vibe and ambiance are your settings, maybe here will attract your ideal clientele.
- San Diego
- San Francisco. Up north, SF is the place to be for higher-end restaurants and owners looking for a different kind of culture. The NoCal city also has the second-highest educated workforce on the list, after Irvine.
- San Bernardino. Employees here have the shortest workweek on average. Time off gives them a chance to mentally reset between shifts, so this could actually net better productivity and retention. Plus, it’s a good selling point for recruiting new hires and ethically-minded customers.
Where you settle down depends on what you prioritize. Do you prefer the low cost of operations? Or maybe a certain demographic of customers, or perhaps a big-spending clientele? Take into consideration what each city has to offer, and then decide what’s best for your specific business.
Building a Business that Thrives
Although these ten cities are the top candidates based on a myriad of factors, that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed elsewhere. It also doesn’t mean that anyone choice is worse than another. Different businesses will benefit from different priorities in the long term. Most likely, you won’t be able to get the best of every feature but you can control those which matter most to the brand and its customers.
For the most streamlined and successful opening, equip your restaurant with cutting-edge technology. Draw in and retain guests, cut down on operating and labor expenses, and organize your workforce right away by investing in a smart Point of Sale system.
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