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Minneapolis: One of the best cities in the country to open a restaurant?

Inside Hai Hai in northeast Minneapolis

Inside Hai Hai in northeast Minneapolis Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

You may have heard it said that "the Midwest is best."

We've got cheese curds and pizza farms. Our lakes are literally Superior. People tend to be nice, or at least "nice."

And there's another thing that makes our fair region better than the rest of the country: It's the place to be if you want to open a restaurant, according to LendingTree.

In a study released earlier this week, the brokerage firm looked at the 50 largest cities in the U.S. to figure out which is the "most promising" to open a restaurant. And Minneapolis snagged the No. 3 spot, right behind Milwaukee and Cincinnati, leading LendingTree to proclaim that "opportunity is ripe in 'flyover country.'"

Their research took into account the number of restaurants per 100,000 households with incomes of $50,000 or more and the number of restaurants per 100,000 residents between 35 and 54. LT also factored in the average estimated annual revenue and estimated payroll costs per employee. 

Maybe that has you scratching your head a little. Generally speaking, getting into the restaurant biz is challenging bordering on you'd-have-to-be-crazy-to-do-it; we're regularly saying goodbye to popular, well-liked eateries that still couldn't hang on. 

You'll also notice they didn't factor in some seemingly significant stats like, say, the price of real estate... or literally any cost that isn't payroll. But then, we're not The Nation's Leading Online Loan Marketplace -- what do we know?

LendingTree is ready to admit that "Minneapolis has seen a number of restaurant closings in the past year, many opening and shuttering their doors within 12 months," but they add: "As Minneapolis' culinary profile rises, new restaurant owners could benefit from diners who are eager to try the next big thing."