Local vs National

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The debate over local versus national eateries will never be resolved, and this Trib article is sure to provoke some debate. People who don’t like “chain” restaurants or fast-food will take the opportunity to bash them, and the “local” supporters will cite it as evidence that we don’t have “too many” fast-food eateries. Here’s the bottom line:

Per capita, Great Falls actually has the fewest number of fast-food chains compared to Montana’s other major cities. Counting just the major fast food locations — Wendy’s, Arby’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Dairy Queen — Great Falls has 14 fast-food retailers, or one for every 4,200 people. Kalispell has the most fast food with per capita, with one eatery for every 1,600 people.

For the record – and most of you know this already – I love both local AND national. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

I love tucking into a nice Mongolian BBQ meal at 3-D, or enjoying a campfire steak at Eddie’s, or downing a dog at the Downtown Dog House, or pulling in to Ford’s Drive-In, tossing back a Howard’s pizza, or (best of all!) scarfing down a HAYSTACK at Goode’s!

But I also enjoy McDonald’s fries, an occasional “pizza pizza” (and Crazy Bread!) from Little Caesar’s, and once in a great while even check in at Chili’s.

So the correct answer to the local versus chain question is: BOTH.

Per capita, Great Falls actually has the fewest number of fast-food chains compared to Montana’s other major cities. Counting just the major fast food locations — Wendy’s, Arby’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Dairy Queen — Great Falls has 14 fast-food retailers, or one for every 4,200 people. Kalispell has the most fast food with per capita, with one eatery for every 1,600 people.

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