New Briefs: For Whom 4Bells Tolled
Scott Pampuch joined 4 Bells as executive chef in February. Pampuch has been an influential force in Minneapolis as a chef, owner and advocate of small family farms for the past 19 years. At 4 Bells, Pampuch will collaborate with Chef Tommy Begnaud of partner restaurant Butcher & the Boar. The two share a vision of innovative cuisine and outstanding hospitality. 4 Bells’ low country fare is known for its Southern feel combined with a Midwestern sensibility that plates the cuisine of Minnesota via the Mississippi River all the way around the Gulf to the Lowcountry of Charleston. Located in Loring Park, the restaurant’s rooftop is a popular spot for its view of the Basilica and downtown Minneapolis’ skyline.
LendingTree, an online lending exchange site, analyzed the 50 largest U.S. cities to determine which ones offer prospective restaurateurs the best shot at success. There are already more than 1 million restaurants operating in the U.S., but Minneapolis can expect to see more openings since its final score of 77.4 earned it third place on the list. Only Milwaukee and Cincinnati scored higher.
One interesting finding is that Minneapolis has an average annual payroll per employee of $17,094. Only payrolls in Riverside, California (7th place), and Hartford, Connecticut (9th), were higher in the top 10.
Here’s what the study said about Minneapolis: “Ranking No. 3 in our study, Minneapolis has even fewer restaurants among the designated demographics. There are 629 establishments per 100,000 households with $50,000 or more in income, and 574 restaurants per 100,000 residents between the ages of 35 and 54 years old. Minneapolis has seen a number of restaurant closings in the past year, many opening and shuttering their doors within 12 months. Rather than one unifying reason, restaurant owners say they have closed down because of varying circumstances, from rising costs and local competition to poor locations and restaurant concepts. But some Minneapolis restaurants and chefs have gained national attention and the city’s wine scene is becoming one of America’s best. As Minneapolis’ culinary profile rises, new restaurant owners could benefit from diners who are eager to try the next big thing.”
The criteria looked at by the lender included average estimated annual revenue, estimated payroll costs per employee, number of restaurants per 100,000 households with incomes of $50,000 or more and number of restaurants per 100,000 residents aged 35-54. The study found that Gen Xers “have a greater appetite for restaurant spending than millennials or baby boomers.”
San Francisco and New York, both known as foodie cities, came in 49th and 50th, respectively.
Congratulations to Martina’s Chef Jeffrey Watson, who was the grand prize winner of the Charlie Awards’ drawing for an almost-all-expense- paid trip to Las Vegas. His prize packet was presented by Franchise Times Corporation’s Controller Matt Haskin, after the event. The trip includes a two-night stay at the Wynn Hotel, car service to and from the hotel, a show and a $1,000 gift card for airfare and expenses. The gift card was donated by Steelite/The Daly & DeRoma Group. Proceeds from the drawing go to Open Arms, a nonprofit agency that provides healthy, made-from-scratch meals to people struggling with life-threatening diseases.