Opinion: The Involvement of Chain Restaurants in Rural Towns

December 21, 2021


The chain restaurant Subway in Fair Grove.

With the growth of chain restaurants comes the struggle for small, local restaurants to stay afloat in today’s economy. Therein lies the question, do chain restaurants belong in rural towns?

As more and more corporate restaurants grow all across the country, small town local restaurants fight to stay in the game. For those who live in the small town of Fair Grove, they know how much small businesses mean to them. Local eating establishments such as Hilltop Pizza, Lucky Time, and Time Traveler Cafe persevere to leave their mark on Fair Grove. Their goal: to gain the likes of the economy and the people that live in the city.

Michael VanCleave, a mathematics teacher at Fair Grove High School explained, “I’m not a big fan of chain restaurants. I will always choose a locally owned restaurant if I can. I feel like overall the food and the service is better. In support of my town, my overall favorite place to eat in Fair Grove is the Time Traveler Cafe.” VanCleave leaves a good point; small town businesses seem to mostly have service that cares more about the people coming in. Owners can connect with customers on a personal level because they tend to see them more often.

Michelle Wahlquist, an English instructor at Fair Grove High School added to the question. She shared, “I honestly have nothing against chain restaurants except the fact they could harm the income of non-chain establishments. One of my favorite places to grab a quick bite is Taco Bell. I’d have to say though Time Traveler Cafe is a favorite of mine when I’m in Fair Grove.” Wahlquist seems to be split in the middle. She enjoys both sides of the debate, but also understands the hurt on small businesses.

Garret Mullis is a sophomore at Fair Grove High School. Mullis stated, “I think chain restaurants are good when you want something quick and easy to eat. One of my favorites would have to be McDonalds. I strongly believe that chain restaurants belong in small towns because it could bring more business and people into the city, especially if it was Fair Grove.” Mullis leaves a great comment by explaining how corporate restaurants fit into small towns. I also agree that towns can often benefit from bigger businesses.

Whether you prefer chain restaurants or small, local eateries it is all about promoting their commerce. Business in general is all about gaining the attention of the buyer, which just happens to be you.

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