The restaurant business is a tough business. One of my friends was a banker. As a general rule, he would not loan to restaurants. Why? Because as a general rule the failure rate for restaurants is higher than most businesses.

Recently there have been several restaurant closings in the Des Moines area that has spurred a lot of discussion. Some local industry experts believe the Des Moines restaurant market is saturated and it is making it hard for restaurants to stay in business and succeed. According to the linked WHO-TV article, approximately 15 restaurants in the Des Moines area closed in 2017, compared to 39 openings. So it is probably natural for consumers to expect that some restaurants will close especially given that there are about 1,000 options for consumers in the Des Moines area. But the recently spike in closings certainly should give prospective restaurant owners pause.

On the franchise side, I have noticed over the past few years an uptick in the franchise options opening, not only in the suburbs where most of the franchise options historically located, but most recently several franchise options have also opened in the downtown area. This makes it even tougher for the small restaurant that must rely upon word of mouth recommendations for diners.

It definitely is an interesting market so proceed with some caution and carefully consider your options if you are planning a new restaurant at this time in the Des Moines area.