Smoke, the Burger Joint had to adjust operations to fit Carrollton, Ohio's market filled with natural-gas workers.
Restaurant executives do not have to drill down too far to find what is feeding a rush in expansion to smaller markets in parts of the West, Great Plains and Upper Midwest: an energy boom enabled by hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The relatively new drilling technique has opened up oil and natural-gas exploration in markets across the country, bringing new people and new money into smaller towns that until now had been underserved by chain restaurants. Many brands looking to ...
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