Opening a hotel

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Questions Future Operators Need to Ask

Questions Future Operators Need to Ask Before Opening

by Jennifer Radkey

Black and orange question marks

Taking your dream bar or restaurant from vision to reality can be an exciting journey but too many people get ahead of themselves during the process.

What are some of the first actions a future operator takes when deciding to open a new restaurant or bar? Well, many will dive right into deciding on a concept, looking at locations, or figuring out costs. Some may take the time to wisely invest in feasibility, concept, and business plans.

Very few will ask themselves the crucial questions that will help them figure out if they are truly ready to take on this huge endeavorand be successful at it.

Before designing menus, hiring a real estate agent, or looking for investments, you need to sit down and gain a clear understanding of the state of your mindset. Successfully opening a restaurant or bar can be mentally and physically exhausting. Well before you open your doors you need to have acquired a mindset that is built on resilience, growth, leadership, and positivity.

Below are several questions to considerand answer truthfullybefore diving in.

Mindset Questions

  1. What is the purpose behind wanting to open a restaurant or bar? Why is this goal significant to you?
  2. How do you currently stay motivated and do you have a system in place to turn to when you lose motivation?
  3. Do you feel capable of handling the day to day pressures of starting and operating a business? Why or why not?
  4. Have you been in a leadership position before? On a scale of one to 10 (one being not successful at all and 10 being very successful), how successful of a leader were you?
  5. What kind of leader do you want to be and Is there someone in a leadership position you admire and can learn from?
  6. If you feel that you can not be the leader your business needs to succeed is there a partner you can rely on for this?
  7. Are you currently in a good position to be able to devote the time, energy, resources, and focus needed to undertake this endeavor?
  8. What non-negotiables do you have in your life? What are you willing to sacrifice for this dream and what are you not?
  9. How comfortable are you with meeting people and being open to others’ ideas?
  10. What are three key strengths you possess? How will they help you succeed?
  11. What are three weaknesses you possess? How might they hinder your success?
  12. Are you comfortable with delegating to others when you are not the best person for a task?
  13. Do you have a strong support system in place of people you can turn to when needed?
  14. Why are you choosing to open a business in the hospitality industry? How do you plan to leave your mark in it?
  15. Do you possess the knowledge to run the day to day operations of a restaurant or bar? If not, how do you plan to gain that knowledge?
  16. How open are you to continuous education and learning for yourself and your future team?
  17. How will you balance opening a new restaurant/bar with your personal life?
  18. Are you willing to adapt and pivot when needed, even if it means an entirely new concept?
  19. How do you currently deal with failure?
  20. How will opening a restaurant/bar impact other areas of your life?

Once you have answered these questions you will have a better understanding of where your mindset stands right now, what areas you may need to improve upon, and if you are truly ready to open your own restaurant or bar. There is a saying that knowledge is power, and self-knowledge is the most powerful kind!

Cheers to professional and personal well-being!

Image: Laurin Steffens on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality. Business Coach. Restaurant Coach. Hotel Coach. Hospitality Coach. Mindset Coach.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Boutique Brand StandardX to Make Debut

Boutique Brand StandardX to Debut in February

by David Klemt

A white letter "X" painted on a black wall

Like The Standard’s logo, this letter X is upside-down.

Boutique hotel standard The Standard will debut its new brand, StandardX, in Melbourne when its first property opens in February of this year.

Not only will this new hotel be the first StandardX location to open, it’s also the first Standard hotel to open in Australia.

This new boutique hotel brand follows a growing and notable trend within the space. Many hotel groups are focusing on launching brands and imprints that focus on locality.

These brands aim to honor local cultures, striving to serve locals and their communities along with tourists. In fact, some of these brands appear more interested in locals than visitors.

Beyond staycations, these hotels work to gain buy-in from locals in several ways. One of the most obvious is through F&B programs. These new(er) brands seek to menu food and drink items that are authentic to their locations. Likewise, nightlife experiences.

However, it goes deeper than that. Many of these hotels welcome locals to use communal spaces for meetings, art installations, and more. The goal is to establish themselves as a pillars in the communities in which they operate. If done right—deeper than a thin veneer of local support—these hotels prove their locale loyalty.

All that said, only time will tell if StandardX Melbourne will find support in the brand’s chosen Melbourne neighborhood, Fitzroy. On paper, however, it should be a perfect match.

Two Decades of Cool, and Counting

The first Standard opened on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles in 1999. It takes a lot of work be effortlessly cool, and the Standard Hollywood achieved that standard upon opening.

Artists, celebrities, people who wanted to see and be seen… All could be found at the Standard Hollywood. The hotel’s Rooftop bar and pool became one of LA’s hottest hotspots, a seemingly endless party featuring a seemingly endless parade of the cool and connected.

Starting life in 1967 as the Thunderbird Motel, the Standard Hollywood appears in Sex and the City, Entourage, Mortdecai, and Ocean’s Twelve. One of the property’s most notable details, one that undoubtedly generated coverage, whispers, and social media attention, was “The Box.”

This was a living art installation behind reception. Fifteen feet long, it was a box in which models lounged as guests checked in and navigated the lobby.

After a successful and impactful run of over a decade, the Standard Hollywood closed its doors at the start of 2022. While that meant the brand left California completely, the Standard operates seven properties across the globe, with plans for more standard Standards to come.

The StandardX hotels will take a minimalist approach while maximizing the Standard’s view on hospitality.

“This was an opportunity to return to raw, unbridled simplicity that was accessible to the next generation traveler looking to experience a city through the lens of The Standard brand,” said Standard International’s CEO, Amber Asher, in an interview with Travel + Leisure.

Considering how the Standard brand is associated with all things cool, it’s no surprise that their first foray into Australia is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world.

Position, Position, Position

Yes, I know the maxim is, “Location, location, location.” Well, I’m being clever. See? See how clever I am? Am I cool yet?

Clearly, the Standard has put in the work to be positioned as one of the coolest brands in the hospitality, accommodation, travel, and leisure spaces.

So, it makes sense that they’ve done their homework and designed a brand and selected a location in keeping with that position.

We can argue whether or not being deemed “cool” makes or breaks your status as cool some other time. The fact is, Fitzroy is considered more than just one of the coolest neighborhoods in Victoria. It’s held up as more than just one of the coolest neighborhoods in Australia. Fitzroy is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world.

The neighborhood is celebrated for its eclectic nature, local pubs, fantastic indie restaurants and boutiques, and killer nightlife. So, again, the StandardX making its debut there is fitting.

Characterized by 125 minimalist rooms, “cultural programming,” and compelling F&B, the StandardX Melbourne is clearly on a mission to establish itself as the coolest of the cool hotels in Australia.

Two F&B venues, BANG and the Roof, will serve up Thai-inspired dishes and “authentic Mexican,” with the latter accessible only to guests. That exclusivity and of itself will likely make the Roof a sought-after nightlife destination in short order.

Oh, and The Box is back. In a nod to a design feature and installation that separated the Standard from the rest, The Box is the property’s retail venue.

After Melbourne, StandardX is aiming to position itself in Bangkok, with Brooklyn and Austin to follow. Look at where the brand is headed and one thing is clear: their chasing the coolest scenes.

Image: Jen Theodore on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality. Boutique Hotels. Resorts. Properties. Consultant. Feasibility Study. Business Plan

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KRG Hospitality now Serving Midwest Region

KRG Hospitality adds Midwest Region

Marina City Towers in Chicago, Illinois


Toronto-based hospitality industry consulting firm with offices throughout Canada and the USA now serving the Midwest through Chicago office.

CHICAGO, IL (March 17, 2023)—Today, KRG Hospitality announces the addition of the Midwest region of the US to their North American service area. The team will operate out of an office in Chicago, Illinois. However, the agency will serve Midwest markets outside of Chicago as well.

KRG is excited to announce their presence in the region and their ability to serve clients effectively. The agency will offer the full suite of their proven hospitality solutions, including: hourly consulting and coaching; complete feasibility studies, fully customized concept plans; in-depth, focused business plans; project support and management; food and/or drink menu development and consulting; and personalized F&B education.

“I was born in Chicago and first entered the hospitality industry in the Northwest Suburbs. I got my first taste of nightlife in Chicago’s incredible bar and nightclub scene,” says David Klemt, partner and director of business development of KRG Hospitality. “Those experiences shaped my entire hospitality career trajectory. It will be an honor to serve the great people of the Midwest and bring their hospitality visions to life.”

“2023 is turning into quite the growth year for KRG, with the addition of team members Kim Richardson and Jared Boller, and now an exciting new market,” says Doug Radkey, KRG Hospitality founder, president, and project manager. “We see great opportunity in the Midwest, not only in Chicago, but many of the surrounding regions. The food, beverage, and hotel scene is incredibly strong, and we’re open to the challenge of not only helping launch new hospitality brands but helping transform existing brands scale and be successful in the new era ahead.”

KRG is ready to work with clients of all experience levels in the Midwest. The consulting agency’s suite of solutions serve new operators looking to open their first concept and veterans seeking a rebrand or expansion. From independent pizzerias and QSRs to multi-unit regional chains and boutique hotels, and everything in between, the KRG team is eager to take client visions and transform them into brick-and-mortar realities.

To schedule an introductory call to learn how the KRG Hospitality team serves clients, please follow this link.

About KRG Hospitality

KRG Hospitality is a storied and respected agency with proven success over the past decade, delivering exceptional and award-winning concepts throughout a variety of markets found within Canada, the United States, and abroad since 2009. Specializing in startups, KRG is known for originality and innovation, rejecting cookie-cutter approaches to client projects. The agency provides clients with a clear framework tailored to their specific projects, helping to realize their vision for a scalable, sustainable, profitable, memorable, and consistent business. Learn more at Connect with KRG Hospitality and the Bar Hacks podcast on social: KRG Twitter, Bar Hacks Twitter, KRG Media Twitter, KRG LinkedIn.

Image: Tobias Brunner from Pixabay

KRG Hospitality Start-Up Restaurant Bar Hotel Consulting Consultant Solutions Plans Services

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Top 10 US Metro Areas by Inflow, Q3 2022

US Metro Areas with Greatest Outflow and Inflow, Q3 2022

by David Klemt

Tower Bridge in Sacramento, California

Real estate brokerage Redfin identifies the top ten American cities in terms of inflow and outflow, according to Q3 data.

Interestingly, a quarter of people appear to be searching for homes in cities different from where they currently live. Also compelling: one state, per the brokerage’s data ending in the month of October, is a clear favorite.

Obviously, this is important data for operators to have. When it comes to labor and guest pool changes, inflow and outflow information can be quite useful.

Top Inflow Cities: August to October 2022

Review the list below to see the metro areas experiencing the greatest inflow.

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Dallas, Texas
  3. North Port, Florida
  4. Cape Coral, Florida
  5. Phoenix, Arizona
  6. Tampa, Florida
  7. San Diego, California
  8. Miami, Florida
  9. Las Vegas, Nevada
  10. Sacramento, California

Did you spot the big trend? The state of Florida represents 50 percent of the list. Per Redfin‘s interpretation of the data, home buyers want leave expensive coastal cities behind.

Interesting to us in particular, two cities—Las Vegas and Orlando—are key KRG Hospitality markets. Also interesting is that Nevada and Florida are on the back half of Forbes’ best cities for starting a business in 2023.

However, we’ve seen strong hospitality industry recovery in Las Vegas this year. In fact, even the entertainment industry in Las Vegas is exploding. Additionally, we continue to gain clients in Orlando.

Top Outlow Cities: August to October 2022

Below are the metro areas seeing the greatest outflow.

  1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. Denver, Colorado
  4. Detroit, Michigan
  5. Chicago, Illinois
  6. Boston, Massachusetts
  7. Washington, DC
  8. New York, New York
  9. Los Angeles, California
  10. San Francisco, California

If we compare Redfin’s Q2 data to the list above, it’s mostly the same. In fact, the top four outflow cities are identical. Spots five through nine are simply a reshuffling of Q2 and Q3 data.

However, Minneapolis, number ten in Q2, is replaced by Philadelphia in Q3. According to Redfin data, those Philly residents searching for homes elsewhere are showing interest in Salisbury, Maryland.

Consider how expensive it can be to move to and live in LA and San Francisco. It makes sense that California is the only state with two cities on the list above, doesn’t it?

Per Redfin, San Francisco residents are searching Sacramento and Seattle. Those in LA are looking at San Diego and Las Vegas.


It’s important to know where people are moving to and what cities they’re leaving behind. And it’s interesting to get a data-driven view of which states may be best for starting a business.

However, it’s far more useful to know how feasible a given ZIP code may be for a specific concept. So, while these types of lists are helpful, they’re not as practical as a targeted feasibility study.

Moreover, the dust doesn’t appear to have settled when it comes to migratory patterns of home buyers. It’s quite possible that Redfin’s 2023 inflow and outflow data will change once again in Q1 and Q2.

Image: Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Starting a Business? Consider These States

Want to Open a Business in 2023? Consider These States

by David Klemt

Philadelphia skyline at sunset

If you’re considering opening a restaurant, bar, nightclub, eatertainment venue, or hotel in 2023, you should consider these states.

As it turns out, according to Forbes, one state is the home to a major KRG Hospitality market: Philadelphia.

Per Forbes Advisor, Pennsylvania is among the top five states for starting a new business next year. In fact, the Keystone State ranks number four.

To make their list, Forbes analyzed all 50 states through the lens of five categories:

  • Business costs
  • Business climate
  • Economy
  • Financial accessibility
  • Workforce

Within those categories, Forbes examined 18 metrics. The result, as already stated, is that just three states rank ahead of Pennsylvania for this Forbes list.

Top 25 States to Start a Business in 2023

Below you’ll find how the top half of the list shakes out. Indiana, Colorado, and North Dakota claim the top positions. A low cost of living and “a business-friendly climate” put Indiana in the number-one spot.

One interesting reason that Pennsylvania ranks comes down to funding for entrepreneurs. Per Forbes, “total small business loan funding in Pennsylvania is double that of the national average.”

  1. Washington
  2. West Virginia
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Idaho
  5. Utah
  6. Wisconsin
  7. South Carolina
  8. Virginia
  9. Hawaii
  10. Mississippi
  11. Missouri
  12. New Hampshire
  13. Massachusetts
  14. California
  15. Connecticut
  16. Delaware
  17. Ohio
  18. Illinois
  19. Montana
  20. North Carolina
  21. South Dakota
  22. Pennsylvania
  23. North Dakota
  24. Colorado
  25. Indiana

However, the list above is interesting for another reason: the recent addition of consultant Kim Richardson to the KRG Hospitality team. Not only is Kim representing our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, office, she’s our rep for the Northeastern region of the United States.

That means she’s serving Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Or, put another way, Kim is representing KRG in six states on the list above. (Pennsylvania is in bold above, while the other Northeastern states on the list she’s representing are in italics).

Proceed with Caution

Now, a word of reason and caution. Just because someone tells you that a particular state or city is the best place for your business doesn’t mean success will follow automatically.

It really doesn’t matter how great the idea for your concept happens to be—long-term success in this industry takes hard work. And that work starts with the planning phase.

So, no, you can’t just throw a dart at the Northeastern states or a map of one of the states on this list and open your restaurant, bar, or hotel there. Site selection involves more than contacting a commercial real estate agent, viewing a few locations, and signing a lease.

There’s a long list of tasks that you must complete in the planning stage before you ever open your doors. An in-depth feasibility study, a KRG Hospitality specialty, identifies the best location for a specific concept. In actuality, the feasibility study includes several smaller tasks that must be completed.

Again, this is simply to determine the best place for a particular concept. There are many other tasks you must complete, each of which KRG is here to help you accomplish.

So, while this list is interesting, there’s much more for your consideration.

The Bottom 10

Since I know you’re curious, below you’ll find the ten states that represent the tail end of the Forbes list:

  1. New York
  2. New Mexico
  3. Vermont
  4. Michigan
  5. Oregon
  6. Florida
  7. Nevada
  8. Kentucky
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Kansas

Now, another word of caution. These states rounding out the list of 50 doesn’t mean they’re “the worst” for starting a business.

In fact, we’ve had great success in Florida, as one example. So, take this list with a grain of salt: there’s much more to consider for a hospitality concept to give it the best odds of success in any market.

Image: Dan Mall on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

The Most-stressed Cities in the US

These are the Most-stressed Cities in the US

by David Klemt

Deflated smiley face balloon in street

There’s a simple argument to be made that one characteristic the happiest cities share is being among the least stressful to live.

Yesterday we took a look at the happiest cities in the US, according to WalletHub analysis. Click here in case you haven’t yet read that article.

Today, let’s check out the most- and least-stressed cities in America. As with their happiest and least-happy cities list, WalletHub ranks 182 cities based on stress levels.

Of course, “least stressed” doesn’t mean “stress-free.” Nor should it—some stress is good for us. After all, stress can push us to perform our best, bring out our problem-solving creativity, and even energize us.

The rankings below may surprise you. Like me, you may even find yourself raising an eyebrow and disagreeing with some of them.

However, it’s a compelling list worth reviewing if you’re an operator, leadership team member, hospitality professional, or in the site-selection portion of opening a restaurant or bar.

The Top 25 Cities of Stress

When determining their results, WalletHub ranked 182 cities according to four main categories. Those categories are: work stress; financial stress; family stress; and health and safety stress. The categories consist of 40 key metrics in total.

I think it’s safe to assume that no city wants to be in the top 25 of this list, or even the top 50. Neither, I’m certain, does any city want to wear the crown of “Most Stressed US City.”

Unfortunately, someone must be number one. Below, the top 25 “Cities of Stress,” per WalletHub:

  1. Cleveland, Ohio
  2. Detroit, Michigan
  3. Gulfport, Mississippi
  4. Baltimore, Maryland
  5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  6. Memphis, Tennessee
  7. New Orleans, Louisiana
  8. Birmingham, Alabama
  9. Louis, Missouri
  10. Toledo, Ohio
  11. Augusta, Georgia
  12. Jackson, Mississippi
  13. North Las Vegas, Nevada
  14. San Bernadino, California
  15. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  16. Akron, Ohio
  17. Wilmington, Delaware
  18. Houston, Texas
  19. Montgomery, Alabama
  20. Shreveport, Louisiana
  21. Cincinnati, Ohio
  22. Newark, New Jersey
  23. Mobile, Alabama
  24. Columbus, Georgia
  25. Indianapolis, Indiana

Alas (I don’t get to use this word much), Ohio has four cities on this list. In fact, the Buckeye State has two cities in the top ten.

Of course, Ohio isn’t the only state with multiple cities in the top 25 stressed cities. Alabama has three cities among the top 25. Also, Mississippi and Louisiana each have two cities on this part of the list, unfortunately.

Cities 26 Through 91

As you’ll see below, Ohio shows up a couple of times in this portion of the list. However, so do a handful of other states.

For example, ten Texas cities land on this part of the list. That means Texas has 11 cities among the “top” half of the most-stressed US cities.

  1. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Huntington, West Virginia
  4. Springfield, Missouri
  5. Dover, Delaware
  6. Norfolk, Virginia
  7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  8. Chicago, IL
  9. Newport News, Virginia
  10. Washington, DC
  11. Dallas, Texas
  12. Richmond, Virginia
  13. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  14. Chattanooga, Tennessee
  15. Bridgeport, Connecticut
  16. San Antonia, Texas
  17. Atlanta, Georgia
  18. Glendale, Arizona
  19. New York, New York
  20. Tucson, Arizona
  21. Columbia, South Carolina
  22. Columbus, Ohio
  23. Knoxville, Tennessee
  24. New Haven, Connecticut
  25. Brownsville, Texas
  26. Rochester, New York
  27. Casper, Wyoming
  28. Vancouver, Washington
  29. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  30. Jacksonville, Florida
  31. Corpus Christi, Texas
  32. Charleston, West Virginia
  33. Henderson, Nevada
  34. Phoenix, Arizona
  35. Modesto, California
  36. Wichita, Kansas
  37. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  38. Little Rock, Arkansas
  39. Moreno Valley, California
  40. Louisville, Kentucky
  41. Stockton, California
  42. Spokane, Washington
  43. Fresno, California
  44. Miami, Florida
  45. Kansas City, Missouri
  46. El Paso, Texas
  47. Salem, Oregon
  48. Hialeah, Hawaii
  49. Los Angeles, California
  50. Fort Smith, Arizona
  51. Fort Worth, Texas
  52. Denver, Colorado
  53. Arlington, Texas
  54. Buffalo, New York
  55. Greensboro, North Carolina
  56. Bakersfield, California
  57. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  58. Providence, Rhode Island
  59. Tacoma, Washington
  60. Port St. Lucie, Florida
  61. Lewiston, Maine
  62. Laredo, Texas
  63. Cape Coral, Florida
  64. Grand Prairie, Texas
  65. Garland, Texas
  66. Aurora, Colorado

Cities 92 Through 137

This is where things begin to turn around, at least mathematically. This is the “bottom” half of the list.

Or, to phrase it another way, this section starts identifying the least-stressed cities in America.

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. Ontario, California
  3. Lubbock, Texas
  4. Reno, Nevada
  5. Huntsville, Alabama
  6. Sacramento, California
  7. Amarillo, Texas
  8. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  9. Tampa, Florida
  10. Long Beach, California
  11. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  12. Fontana, California
  13. Tallahassee, Florida
  14. Las Cruces, New Mexico
  15. Worchester, Massachusetts
  16. Orlando, Florida
  17. West Valley City, Utah
  18. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  19. Peoria, Arizona
  20. Riverside, California
  21. Mesa, Arizona
  22. Nashville, Tennessee
  23. Des Moines, Iowa
  24. Nampa, Idaho
  25. Tempe, Arizona
  26. Irving, Texas
  27. Oakland, California
  28. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  29. Charlotte, North Carolina
  30. Rancho Cucamonga, California
  31. Boston, Massachusetts
  32. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  33. Honolulu, Hawaii
  34. Oceanside, California
  35. Pearl City, Hawaii
  36. Anchorage, Alaska
  37. Warwick, Rhode Island
  38. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  39. Cheyenne, Wyoming
  40. Petersburg, Florida
  41. Chesapeake, Virginia
  42. Billings, Montana
  43. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
  44. Durham, North Carolina
  45. Santa Ana, California
  46. Jersey City, New Jersey

Cities 138 through 182

Finally, we reach what cities, according to WalletHub analysis, experience the least amount of stress.

  1. Salt Lake City, Utah
  2. Aurora, Illinois
  3. Santa Clarita, California
  4. Glendale, California
  5. Manchester, New Hampshire
  6. Paul, Minnesota
  7. Garden Grove, California
  8. Pembroke Pines, Florida
  9. Yonkers, New York
  10. Chandler, Arizona
  11. Oxnard, California
  12. Juneau, Alaska
  13. Anaheim, California
  14. Santa Rosa, California
  15. Chula Vista, California
  16. Charleston, South Carolina
  17. Raleigh, North Carolina
  18. San Francisco, California
  19. Huntington Beach, California
  20. Omaha, Nebraska
  21. San Diego, California
  22. Gilbert, Arizona
  23. Scottsdale, Arizona
  24. Rapid City, South Dakota
  25. Austin, Texas
  26. Seattle, Washington
  27. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  28. Missoula, Montana
  29. Boise, Idaho
  30. Nashua, New Hampshire
  31. Plano, Texas
  32. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  33. Lincoln, Nebraska
  34. Portland, Maine
  35. Irvine, California
  36. Burlington, Vermont
  37. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  38. Bismarck, North Dakota
  39. San Jose, California
  40. Columbia, Maryland
  41. Fargo, North Dakota
  42. Overland Park, Kansas
  43. Madison, Wisconsin
  44. South Burlington, Vermont
  45. Fremont, California

Twelve of the cities on this part of the list are in California. Further, the least-stressed city in California: Fremont. If you read yesterday’s article, you know that WalletHub ranked Fremont, California, the happiest city in the US.

Image: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Which Cities and States are the Happiest?

Which US Cities and States are the Happiest?

by David Klemt

Yellow smiley face ball

As an entrepreneur and operator evaluating a market for a first location or expansion, it can help to know where people are happiest.

Equally as helpful: Knowing the cities and states that are the least happy. Not, necessarily, so an operator can avoid these markets.

Rather, one’s concept may be a ray of stress-free sunshine for a given community. Providing a great workplace with a positive culture can work wonders for both the happiest and least-happy places. And as the cornerstones of the communities they serve, restaurants and bars can improve their guests’ quality of life.

We’ve looked at the US cities with the greatest inflow and outflow (which can reveal happiness levels), as identified by Redfin. And we’ve checked out the best US retirement cities, researched by Clever.

Now, we’re taking a look at which US cities and states are the happiest and least happy, according to WalletHub. In case you’re unaware, personal finance site WalletHub researches a vast array of topics. You can browse them here.

Happiest Cities

While determining which are happiest, WalletHub identified the happiest 182 cities. Obviously, that’s a far cry from how many cities are in the US.

According to one source, there 19,495 cities, towns, and villages across the country (per data from 2018). Of those, 4,727 cities have populations of 5,000 or more. A total of 310 cities have populations of at least 100,000, and only ten are home to one million people or more.

So, living in any of the 182 cities WalletHub suggests one is pretty happy. However, these are the ten happiest cities, in descending order:

  1. Fremont, California
  2. Columbia, Maryland
  3. San Francisco, California
  4. San Jose, California
  5. Irvine, California
  6. Madison, Wisconsin
  7. Seattle, Washington
  8. Overland Park, Kansas
  9. Huntington Beach, California
  10. San Diego, California

As you can see, six of the 10 cities are in California. In fact, 29 of the 182 cities on this list are located in the Golden State.

To create their list, WalletHub analyzed several metrics that make up three main categories: emotional and physical well-being; work environment; and community and environment.

Fremont, CA, is number one for emotional and physical well-being. The top spot for work environment goes to San Francisco, CA. And the number-one city for community and environment is Casper, Wyoming, which is number 79 on the list overall.

Least-happy Cities

Again, understanding that there are more than 19,400 cities, towns, and villages in the US alters the context of this list a bit.

Living and operating in one of these 182 cities indicates a person is living in a happy city. Basically, it isn’t the worst place to live if it’s on this list.

At any rate, let’s look at the 10 cities that make up the bottom of WalletHub’s list. Or, the “least-happy” cities, at least as far as these rankings are concerned.

  1. Detroit, Michigan
  2. Gulfport, Mississippi
  3. Memphis, Tennessee
  4. Huntington, West Virginia
  5. Montgomery, Alabama
  6. Cleveland, Ohio
  7. Augusta, Georgia
  8. Fort Smith, Arizona
  9. Mobile, Alabama
  10. Shreveport, Louisiana

Happiest States

WalletHub also ranked 50 states to determine the happiest and least happy. I checked, and, yep, that’s all of ’em! I will say it’s a bit disappointing they didn’t include Puerto Rico, but it isn’t the 51st state (yet).

WalletHub focused on 30 metrics to rank the states, which make up three main categories: emotional and physical well-being; work environment; and community and environment.

In descending order, the happiest states in America are:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Maryland
  3. Minnesota
  4. Utah
  5. New Jersey
  6. Idaho
  7. California
  8. Illinois
  9. Nebraska
  10. Connecticut

Hawaii doesn’t just take the top spot overall, it also claims number one for emotional and physical well-being. Utah takes first for work environment, and community and environment.

Rounding out the “happiest half” of the US are:

  1. Virginia
  2. South Dakota
  3. North Dakota
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Iowa
  7. Delaware
  8. Florida
  9. Georgia
  10. North Carolina
  11. Wisconsin
  12. Washington
  13. New York
  14. Maine
  15. Wyoming

Least-happy States

Conversely, the following are the least-happy states, starting with the unhappiest:

  1. West Virginia
  2. Louisiana
  3. Arkansas
  4. Kentucky
  5. Alabama
  6. Mississippi
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Tennessee
  9. New Mexico
  10. Missouri

Filling out the least-happy half of the country are:

  1. Alaska
  2. Michigan
  3. Ohio
  4. Indiana
  5. Texas
  6. Nevada
  7. Vermont
  8. South Carolina
  9. Kansas
  10. Arizona
  11. Colorado
  12. Montana
  13. Rhode Island
  14. Pennsylvania
  15. Oregon

In terms of the three metrics WalletHub analyzed, West Virginia is ranked last for emotional and physical well-being. Unfortunately, Mississippi is last for work environment. And Texas comes in last for community and environment.

Image: chaitanya pillala on Unsplash