The economic downturn can put a damper on job opportunities. But for 30-year-old Nick Epler of Boise, the slump is just what he needed to expand his career as a restaurant owner.

The economy has lowered the cost of opening a restaurant because leases and labor to build are cheaper, Epler said. Also, recessions typically lead to higher college enrollment, which benefits the Pita Pits in college towns, he said.

“We wanted to get as close as possible to (Boise State),” he said.

About 50 percent of the Broadway store’s market is from college students, Epler said, and he expects that number to increase by 10 percent this school year.

Part of the Pita Pit philosophy is to build in college towns, said Corey Bowman, vice president of franchise development for Pita Pit. More.