Food. I eat it. I love to talk about it. It’s the thing that brings us all together and at the same time, opinions on what is best can tear us apart.

Have a discussion with someone from Rockford over who makes the best pizza, burgers, or even late-night meals, and everyone is bound to have a different answer.

One thing we can all agree on is when we're gone, either living out of state or away for school, there's a handful of restaurants we wish we could take with us.

You’ve may have even thought to yourself, why can’t “insert name of Rockford restaurant” be out here too?

It happens. I’ve seen it. I’ve read folks mention how much they miss this place or that place, and it got me thinking.

What if, just, what if, some of our favorite Rockford restaurants went the McDonald’s or Pizza Hut route? What if they became franchised? What if you could see your favorite Rockford restaurant everywhere in every corner on Earth?

Obviously, it would be a different experience. Part of the charm of our local restaurants is that you’ll only get to experience them in Rockford.

But I still decided to give it a shot anyway. I came up with five Rockford restaurants I would love to see get the franchise treatment.

Uncle Nicks – A gyro and pizza puff after a long night is one of the best things on the planet. It’s a shame that no one else in the US can experience the delight that comes with a late-night trip to Uncle Nick’s.

Lino’s - It’s the place that most feels like home in Rockford. The ambiance would be hard to replicate, but the food needs more notice from across the country. Franchising would mean more eyes (and mouths) would see (and taste) just how good their food really is.

15th & Chris – For me, the folks at 15th and Chris construct the best burgers in Rockford. They're inventive, and always on point. A 15th and Chris in the franchise burger game could rival the Five Guys of the world.

JMK Nippon – I’ve got a soft spot for JMK. The sushi is massively underrated, and their hibachi dining is excellent. Some of my most memorable dinners in Rockford have happened while at JMK. Franchising would mean the same for everyone that loves a great dining experience.

Machine Shed – I get it. There’s a handful of other Machine Shed locations. That doesn’t mean that the entire world is aware of what the Machine Shed does. Pop a couple of Machine Shed restaurants in states from coast-to-coast, and the rest of the US would finally know everything we already do in Rockford.

If you had a chance to franchise any Rockford restaurant what would it be? Tell us!

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Sweet Lenny is the brand manager of 97ZOK, Q98.5, and Operations Manager for Townsquare Media Rockford. Catch him afternoons 3 to 7 on 97ZOK. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and like his page on Facebook.