This week’s blog comes from our Marketing and Research Manager, Andrew Wittenberg who wants to know – what restaurant would you like to see open in Salt Lake City? Take the survey…we’d love to know!

Last week, I went back to my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee to celebrate the holidays with family. I’ve lived away from my childhood home now for nearly as long I lived there and yet the bond to familiar places in my old stomping grounds like parks, schools, old friends’ houses, and local restaurants seems stronger the farther away I get from them. Maybe this post comes with a little nostalgia but hear me out.

When you have a young child like I do, eating a meal at a favorite restaurant of your youth is a bit of a ritual. For me, it’s as much of an opportunity to bond with my son as anything else. It’s the memory of being a kid and going to eat that same meal with my grandmother that propels me with my son when we’re close to my hometown.

Now, I’m not here today to suggest we abandon all economic development efforts until my favorite hometown restaurant comes to SLC. However, that little story led to a vigorous debate in our office on the first floor of the City & County Building about which restaurant needs to come to Salt Lake City that isn’t currently here.

Salt Lake City’s food scene is on the rise. We are incredibly grateful for the innovation and deliciousness happening in the Capital City. But we’re also curious … which restaurant, coffee shop, or other eating/drinking establishment should open in SLC (and what neighborhood)?

You may have heard of the Facebook group started more than a decade ago in Salt Lake City “Trader Joe’s Should go the Distance” generating thousands of members vying for TJ’s attention in Utah. As a social media enthusiast, I’d like to say it helped sway opinions of executives – that it is possible to be profitable in Salt Lake City, aka the “Crossroads of the West”.

Staff member Will Wright said, “I vote Waffle House!” pointing out there are many criteria why site selectors choose locations for new restaurants, and for the Waffle House, it is access to major highways and transportation routes. He adds, “Wouldn’t that be amazing in the Granary District? It meets the criteria!”

Yes, Will. Yes it would.blog2

The basics for site selectors are population, which can include a trade area, and demographics, so they can reach their target markets, which sometimes can be quite broad. Other criteria include such things as household incomes, which can narrow options.

No doubt Salt Lake City is on the radar of site selection professionals, we are ranked well in several national polls including #2 for Starting a Business in the U.S. by Inc. What gives?

Perhaps we need to band together on social and PROVE our undying loyalty. It worked for Trader Joes!

We have recruiting tools at the City– why not add in the magic of social media to push things along a little faster? They might not realize just how many fans they have here in Salt Lake City. We’re big travelers and love to defy expectations, voted #3 best home base city in the U.S. for travel addicts.

SLC foodies and food bloggers, we’re talking to you! We want your opinion of who should go the distance to Salt Lake City.

Take the survey now
Click here:

Heard around the office:

“Panera Bread!” says Rachel.

“Dutch Brothers!” says Robyn.


“Wouldn’t it be awesome if Maddox opened a place in downtown SLC?” says Christine.

“I always missed Nando’s Peri Peri…. and Zoe’s Kitchen! Thought they would be awesome in SLC!”

“Snooze Eatery (they’re big in Colorado)!”

Take the survey now and comment on our social channels.