Salt Lake City’s understated restaurant scene is recognized as one of the best for launching a food business

(Photo courtesy of SLC Eatery) SLC Eatery, 1017 S. Main, opened recently in Salt Lake City. A new ranking listed Utah's capital as one of the best places to open a restaurant.

Salt Lake City is one of the top 50 places in the country to open a restaurant, according to new rankings released this week.

Utah’s capital ranked 40th in the city-by-city list compiled by Bid On Equipment, an online clearinghouse for used restaurant equipment.

For its comparison, the company looked at 236 cities — including the 150 most populous — in the U.S. using four key business factors: annual restaurant sales, competition, workforce and disposable income.

Salt Lake City performed well across all four categories, “which is the primary reason it appeared on the list,” spokesman Matt Zajechowski wrote in an email.

The city performed best in the Industry category, he said. “Salt Lake City has 5,713 industry workers per capita, which is higher than many of the cities ranked above it on the list.”

The median income was another strong ranking point, he said. Salt Lake City’s median income is $50,353.

It also ranked in the middle for its annual restaurant sales per capita ($2,758) and the number of restaurants (318) per capita, he said.

The U.S. capital — where median incomes are high — dominated the top of the list with Arlington, Va., and Washington, D.C., ranking first and third, respectively. Ann Arbor, Mich., was second while San Francisco, which is home to the most restaurants per capita, was fourth.

Many cities on the list are known for their dining scenes, such as Miami, Charleston, S.C., and New Orleans, but smaller cities like Chattanooga, Tenn., Fort Collins, Colo., Raleigh, N.C., and Salt Lake City made the cut as well.

Overall, when it comes to finding an ideal location to start a restaurant, it’s not all about sales. Factors such as oversaturation, competition and disposable income are all metrics to keep in mind when researching a market.