Locally owned restaurants trying to keep up with big chains - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Locally owned restaurants trying to keep up with big chains

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KENNEWICK, Wash.—While some businesses are opening and expanding, others are closing.  Research shows that Washington State is the most expensive state in the nation to operate a restaurant.  So, why are many chains beating out the locally owned establishments?

Colin Hastings with the Regional Chamber of Commerce says chains have a big advantage because they tend to have more money, continual advertising, and they have already established branding.  Plus, when it comes to the Tri-Cities there is no central location for the unknown eatery.

"In terms of density of population we're still fairly spread out," says Colin Hastings, Vice President of Chamber of Commerce.

The good news is some locally owned restaurants do make it.  The Country Gentlemen has been in business for a number of years.  The owner, Steve Simmons, says they have done well, because they focus on their quality service, plus they also offer catering.  His advice to up and coming restaurants is to come up with a unique approach.