In August 2017, Chicago was named Bon Appetit’s Restaurant City of the Year. The Windy City, known for its world-renowned deep-dish pizza, has proved to have pushed the forefronts of gustatorial innovation by scoring a national recognition that highlights an exciting and up-and-coming dining scene. With this accolade, recipient cities usually see an increase in restaurant startups and more crowded tables than ever before.
Being only the third time Bon Appetit magazine has named a city with this honor, following Washington D.C. in 2016 and San Francisco is 2015, heads are turning towards Chicago at the impending restaurant boom the city is expected to see. With so much attention, Chicago is expected to see a drastic growth in restaurant start-ups and new players in the Chicago area dining arena.
In 2016, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington D.C. projected restaurant sales to hit the $2.8 billion mark. However, following being named the “Restaurant City of the Year,” the finally tally was $3.6 billion in sales, according to the association. With the boom in revenue and the continuation of growth in the region’s industry, restaurateurs have said it has made the decision much easier to pursue new ventures. Following being named “Restaurant City of the Year,” the greater D.C. area saw not only a huge spike in sales but also in new restaurants across the now-renowned restaurant scene. These restaurants came full of new twists, breadth of culture, and expanded palates, making it the ultimate place for any foodie to let their taste buds explore.
So, with this glowing past success of other award recipients, Chicago can only expect to see a similar growth. The impact of the award is not only an incentive for visitors to make the trip, as seen in D.C. and San Francisco, but also for foodies and tourists to have a greater feeling of openness towards trying something new. The award tends to create a kind of novelty effect for any restaurant hub, leaving visitors with thoughts of greater avenues for new and unique experiences unattainable in other cities.
Of course, the award rush not only gives incentives for new, creative restaurant startups but also an increased need for restaurant supplies in the Chicago area. As with any industry rise, most connected industries also experience increases in business.
The detailed coverage from Bon Appetit featured examples from all over the Windy City, from Chicago’s decadent dessert selections like the modern and refined desserts at Elske to exciting suburban food courts (22 miles outside of the city in The International Mall in Westmont). The city’s fine dining options span from new and innovative, to traditional chic and classic, such as the hot-spot Smyth, which was recently named one of the best restaurants in America. You can’t forget Chicago's own local cuisine scene, spanning from neighborhood restaurants turned destination restaurants to reinvented Chicago-style hot dog carts. In addition to numerous Chicago cafes, the emerging scene of upscale bar food has helped Chicago become a one-stop-shop for any modern foodie’s palate.
With Chicago’s innovative and exciting restaurant scene, the city has “moved far beyond its meat-and-potatoes past” according to Bon Appetit Mag, and instead has opened up a floodgate for new prospective restaurants and upscale eateries.
For those entrepreneurs looking to emerge in the quickly up-and-coming Chicago restaurant scene, having the proper, quality equipment to get the job done is the key to success. At GatorChef.com, startup eateries can find all of the restaurant supplies for Chicago restaurants they need to get their business off the ground and running. As an Illinois native and a Chicago neighbor, GatorChef is eager to help new and experienced restaurant owners get the quality kitchen supplies they need. For more information available in Chicago, visit GatorChef.com, or contact GatorChef’s helpful professionals at [email protected].