By: Business in Milwaukee, WI


Milwaukee, Wisconsin, known for its rich culture, diverse communities, and vibrant business landscape, offers a promising environment for entrepreneurs looking to start a breakfast restaurant. In this article, we will explore the demographics of Milwaukee, the distribution of residential and commercial areas, and the prospects of opening a breakfast restaurant in the city. We will also discuss the approximate capital investment required and expected returns, as well as suggest prime locations for your breakfast restaurant.

Milwaukee’s Demographics and Lifestyle

Before diving into the specifics of starting a breakfast restaurant in Milwaukee, it’s essential to understand the city’s demographics and lifestyle. Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s largest city and home to a diverse population of over 590,000 residents. The city’s residents represent a mix of cultures and backgrounds, creating a unique culinary scene that embraces a wide range of flavors.

Milwaukeeans have a deep appreciation for dining out, making the restaurant industry a thriving sector in the city. With an average household income of around $54,000, residents often seek convenient and enjoyable dining experiences, especially for breakfast and brunch.

Distribution of Residential Areas

Milwaukee features a variety of neighborhoods and suburbs, each with its own character and demographic makeup. Here are some key residential areas to consider when planning to open a breakfast restaurant:

  1. East Side: The East Side is known for its youthful population, including students from the University of WisconsinMilwaukee. It offers a mix of urban and suburban living, making it an excellent location for a breakfast restaurant targeting a diverse clientele.
  2. Bay View: This neighborhood has seen significant growth in recent years, attracting young professionals and families. It offers opportunities for a breakfast restaurant that combines a welcoming atmosphere with a locallysourced menu.
  3. Walker’s Point: With a growing arts and food scene, Walker’s Point is becoming a hotspot for dining. A breakfast restaurant here can cater to both residents and visitors looking for a unique morning dining experience.

Distribution of Commercial Areas

To succeed in the breakfast restaurant business in Milwaukee, it’s crucial to choose a strategic location. Here are some commercial areas to consider:

  1. Downtown Milwaukee: The heart of the city is a bustling hub of business activity. A breakfast restaurant in downtown Milwaukee can attract office workers, tourists, and residents alike.
  2. Historic Third Ward: This area is known for its boutique shops, galleries, and restaurants. A breakfast restaurant here can benefit from foot traffic and a vibrant local scene.
  3. Brady Street: Brady Street is famous for its eclectic mix of businesses and cultural events. Opening a breakfast restaurant here can tap into the neighborhood’s vibrant energy.

Investment and Returns

The capital investment required to start a breakfast restaurant in Milwaukee can vary widely based on factors like location, size, and concept. On average, you can expect to invest anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000 or more, including expenses for leasing or purchasing a space, renovating it, acquiring kitchen equipment, obtaining licenses, and marketing.

The return on investment (ROI) for a breakfast restaurant in Milwaukee can be lucrative if managed efficiently. With the right concept, quality food, and excellent service, you can expect to break even within the first year and potentially see substantial profits in the following years.


Starting a breakfast restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is an exciting venture with promising opportunities. The city’s diverse population, love for dining out, and thriving neighborhoods provide a fertile ground for your business to flourish. Remember to conduct thorough market research, create a unique concept, and choose a strategic location to maximize your chances of success. With the right ingredients, your breakfast restaurant can become a beloved spot for Milwaukeeans and visitors alike.