SALT LAKE CITY — The results are in and Utahans like their food. When it comes to eating at restaurants, its big business in the Beehive State.
When you head out to eat, you face a buffet of dining choices, but for Ted Ripko, the decision is easy.
“Not only great quality food but top notch service to go along with it,” Ripko said.
He broke away from life in the big box.
“I used to be an assistant general manager and I worked at corporate headquarters for a restaurant giant,” he said.
Now, Ripko thinks a bit smaller as General Manager at Hub & Spoke Diner.
“It definitely is risky,” he said. “Restaurants open and close and it’s one of the highest failure rate in the industry.”
Hub & Spoke Diner is a local, family-owned restaurant and the business is heating up.
“Well, people keep coming back and they keep coming back and then telling their friends,” he said.
However, here in Utah those diners might not need to spread the word.
“When I started working for locally-owned restaurants, I realized how great it can be.”
According to a new national restaurant survey by Womply, Utah ranks 6th in the nation for supporting small and local eateries.
“It really doesn’t surprise me,” Ripko said. “There are so many great options here.”
With more than 25,000 restaurants analyzed in all 50 states, Utah stands out.
“I really do feel that Salt Lake City is more like Small Lake City,” he said.
It’s a small idea that’s spreading success and breaking free from the chains.
“I get to go by and actually chat with them,” Ripko explained. “We talk about kids and grandkids. It’s just such a different flavor and experience.”
Womply also found, it’s common for restaurants to earn the majority of their profits on Sundays. However, in Utah, that’s not necessarily the case but clearly, it’s made up for with every other day of the week.