Thursday, January 11, 2007

Utah: Dead Last For Restaurants

Utah has the lowest number of Restaurants (per capita) of any other State. This means that while it may take longer in Utah to arrive at our eating establishments, we should have no trouble listing all of them. Picking our favorites.

In 2004 we had 4,691 places to eat. That's compared to California, which has 87,225. Do we really need government funded advertising to tell us where to find an Olive Garden, or a Crown Burger?

The Utah Restaurant Association knows this fact, which is probably why they want to spend money on advertising. To grow the restaurant business.

We, who want our government to spend wisely, should not fail to take some other statistics into account. The fact that Utah has the highest birth rate (per 1000), and the most women who have given birth in the last 12 months. We have the highest percentage of both married couples, and married couples with children. We have the largest household size. And, we have the lowest number of children with both parents in the workplace.

We seem to be extraordinarily dedicated to family life in Utah. We seem to know something about the home.

And, we know that nothing beats home cooking!

Why should the government encourage us to eat out when we've already decided what is needful to keep our financial house together? Again, last year the sales tax was lowered on unprepared food to give incentive to preparing much of our food at home.

We still eat out, but the restaurants should be trying to encourage that, not the government.

What a fine way for this new Commission to show their mettle.

Please tell the Commission to spend our money wisely.

By email at

I've also included all the County Commission contact information in my sidebar.

Check back for an update.


Jeremy said...

Hmmmm....I don't think the statistics you've cited are a fair comparison of Utah to other states. Here is the definition of what the study you cited puports to be describing:

"Number of eating and drinking venues by state. Per capita figures expressed per 100 population"

Utah is at a distinct disadvantage in this comparison because it has substantially fewer bars per capita than any other state.

I know this point doesn't dispute your main contention in the post that the government shouldn't be buying marketing for restaurants but your point that Utahns don't like restaurants doesn't seem supported by the statistics you're using.

Allie said...

Thanks for the email link Tyler. I sent an email.

I would hope that this is not something our new county commission is even considering.

Tyler Farrer said...

Jeremy, we certainly do have fewer bars. We have fewer light drinkers too. I think the Utah Restaurant Association represents those that serve alcohol as well as those who don't.

My point. Bars would benefit from the advertising that is planned for March. But if we're going to have more of these, something has to give, and our demographics prove that we have other priorities.

You're right, though. I neglected to mention drinking, and it doesn't matter how many we have, the government shouldn't pay the bill.

Tyler Farrer said...


Thanks for pitching in on this!

Allie said...

I got a reply from Alan Hansen, he said that the Association of Counties is planning on opposing the measure and that he personally is planning on voting against giving any money to the URA.