By: Business in Kansas City, MO


Kansas City, Missouri (MO) is a vibrant city with a diverse population and a growing trend for outdoor dining. This article aims to provide insights into the outdoor dining restaurant industry in Kansas City and highlight suitable locations for starting a restaurant business. It will also discuss the approximate capital investment required and the potential return on investment (ROI).

Population Distribution

Kansas City, MO is home to over 495,000 residents, making it the largest city in Missouri and the 38th most populous city in the United States. The city’s population is diverse, comprising various ethnicities and age groups. This diversity lays the foundation for a dynamic dining culture and offers opportunities for niche outdoor dining experiences.

Important Residential Areas

Several neighborhoods in Kansas City, MO are known for their vibrant residential communities with a culinary scene that appeals to food enthusiasts. Some prominent residential areas supporting the outdoor dining trend include:

  1. The Country Club Plaza: Known for its upscale residential properties, this district offers a mix of international cuisines and a lively dining atmosphere.
  2. Crossroads Arts District: An artistic neighborhood with a strong community presence, it boasts several innovative outdoor dining establishments and food truck parks.
  3. Westport: This district offers a bustling nightlife scene and attracts a younger demographic, making it an ideal location for trendy outdoor dining experiences.

Commercial Districts

When considering starting an outdoor dining restaurant business, strategically positioning the establishment near commercial areas can greatly impact its success. Kansas City, MO has several thriving commercial districts that attract locals and visitors alike. Here are a few notable ones:

  1. Downtown Kansas City: The central business district offers a mix of small businesses, corporate offices, shopping centers, and hotels, making it a prime location for an outdoor dining restaurant.
  2. Crown Center: Located near Union Station, this district hosts a variety of retail stores, office spaces, and entertainment venues, providing an excellent opportunity for an outdoor dining establishment.
  3. River Market: Known for its farmers’ market, this bustling district presents an ideal blend of commercial and residential areas, attracting a diverse clientele.

Capital Investment and ROI

The capital investment required to open an outdoor dining restaurant in Kansas City, MO can vary based on factors such as location, size, and concept. On average, entrepreneurs should expect to invest between $200,000 and $500,000 for a moderatesized establishment. However, these figures may vary significantly depending on the specific business plan and concept.

The potential ROI for an outdoor dining restaurant in Kansas City, MO can be promising, given the city’s thriving food culture and increasing demand for outdoor dining experiences. With proper market research, effective marketing strategies, and efficient operations, entrepreneurs can expect a return on investment within three to five years.

Suitable Outdoor Dining Restaurant Locations

  1. The Country Club Plaza: This upscale neighborhood offers a sophisticated ambiance and attracts a diverse clientele. A highend outdoor dining restaurant here can cater to the affluent population and generate substantial revenue.
  2. Crossroads Arts District: With its artistic vibe and support for local businesses, an outdoor dining restaurant in this neighborhood can tap into the creativity and appeal to both residents and tourists.
  3. Westport: The energetic atmosphere of this district appeals to young professionals and college students. An outdoor dining restaurant here can offer a trendy and vibrant dining experience.


Establishing an outdoor dining restaurant in Kansas City, MO can be a rewarding venture considering the city’s diverse population, vibrant culinary scene, and growing trend for outdoor dining experiences. Entrepreneurs should carefully choose their location, develop a comprehensive business plan, and estimate the necessary capital investment for a successful and lucrative outdoor dining restaurant.