Franklin Ranked 3rd Best Place In Nation To Open Restaurants

Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 12, 2015

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - The website NerdWallet has ranked Franklin as the third best city in the nation to open a new restaurant. 

NerdWallet looked at 530 cities in the United States with a population of at least 50,000. The website used U.S. Census Bureau data to calculate the score for each location based on the demand for new restaurants and local economic conditions that could affect the success of those restaurants.

Franklin ranked in the third spot because the number of restaurants in the city increased by nearly 50 percent over a five-year period, while sales in the city's restaurants topped $190 million annually, which worked out to be over $3,000 per resident.

"Franklin has a relatively high population growth, and it also has a relatively high level of median incomes, so you combine those and it's not surprising to see that restaurants in Franklin have some of the highest revenue generating potential of any city in the country," said Jonathan Todd with NerdWallet.

According to Todd those statistics may attract new restaurateurs to Franklin.

"People are coming in and seeing the potential Franklin, and opening restaurants there," Todd said.

The Honeysuckle opened its doors for the first time Wednesday afternoon. The fine dining restaurant replaced Pie in the Sky Pizza on Galleria Boulevard.

"We're bringing products the market doesn't have, while all these other restaurants are coming in, fighting the same products," said Kelly Black, The Honeysuckle's owner.

Black said he has a lot of experience in the Franklin restaurant scene, and he thinks this concept can work outside the downtown areas of Franklin and Nashville.

"I think the demographics in Franklin are tremendous. I think there's a lot of wealth, I think there's a lot of disposable income, people go out to eat," according to Black.

Over the years, Black said the restaurant business has changed in Franklin.

"I think you have to be a smart operator to come into this market and thrive, because it is tremendously competitive," said Black.

The restaurant owner said he has had one major issue while opening his new business. According to Black there has been a lack of skilled servers in Franklin who can, and want, to work in a fine dining establishment.

The Honeysuckle will be open for dinner, seven days a week, until Labor Day. The restaurant will have limited seating to allow staff to train. It will open for lunch and brunch in September.