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New businesses begin to set up shop in Mankato

Mankato has been growing and isn’t slowing down with several new restaurants coming to town.
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 10:40 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Mankato has been growing and isn’t slowing down with several new restaurants coming to town.

Noodles & Co., Caribou Coffee, Scooters and Slim Chickens are all coming to the Mankato area.

“Excited to see new businesses come to our community or to see existing businesses expanding. The growth is definitely good to see, but I think what is most important is that it shows demand in the marketplace,” stated Andy Wilke, director of business development and public affairs at Greater Mankato Growth.

The Noodles & Co. is joining Five Guys and Jersey Mikes. Scooters is taking over the former Long John Silver’s and is looking into opening up another location at Highway 22 and Hoffman Road.

“There is a trend toward fast-casual because full-service restaurants are expensive to operate. They are very labor-intensive and they can sometimes be difficult to operate based on some of the wage laws from the state of Minnesota. So you’re seeing that trend towards that fast-casual and I think consumers are responding to that,” Wilke explained.

Which shows that the city of Mankato is booming in not only development but investing.

“There is a lot of cash out there. The cost to borrow is very low. So, it is a very attractive time to invest for a lot of folks. There is really a lot of entrepreneurial people who want to go out and invest. Maybe, they have been waiting for the right time and now is that right time,” Wilke added.

In the midst of a staffing shortage that every small business and franchise has been battling

Greater Mankato Growth says that employment in our region is on the right track and the new businesses are only here to help.

“In December 2020, compared to December 2021, we have 2,500 more jobs being worked in our community so that is huge. So that is 2,400 new positions being worked in our community – that is a 4.5% increase,” Wilke said.

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