Restaurants per Capita Claim

MaineBiz has investigated the longstanding, but unverified, claim that Portland has the “highest or second highest number of restaurants per capita behind San Francisco”. While the source is still murky they were able to calculate the number of “registered food service establishments with food preparation” in the two cities relative to their population. Portland has 1 registered food service establishment for every 118 people and San Francisco clocks in at 1 for ever 231-311 people. The bottom line from MaineBiz:

That math seems to support the claim that Portland has more restaurants per capita than San Francisco. It’s still muddied, though. Those eatery licenses in the Portland City Hall include every school, nursing home and office cafeteria in the city, along with any other location that prepares and serves food.

So where does that leave us on the fact or fiction scale? Somewhere in the middle, leaning toward fact, but not enough to meet Mainebiz‘s high standards of reporting. But for PR purposes, it’s just fine.