New data available from leading foodservice database and analytics company, CHD Expert reports for the first time in three years a net increase in restaurant openings throughout the United States. This trend is consistent in California, Texas and New York, which indicates that as the economy begins to recover more people are willing to dine out.
Chicago-based foodservice database, marketing, and analytics firm, CHD Expert announces the overall US restaurant sector is beginning to recover and grow, while sharing data that focuses on the four largest states in the nation and how each states’ data compare and contrast.
According to one of CHD Expert’s latest reports, 2012 Foodservice Operator Update: A Positive Change in a Challenging Economy, 2012 has yielded a 0.3 percent positive net change in the total number of U.S. restaurant establishments in operation, which is the first time net growth has occurred in the past three years. This indicates that in 2012 Americans were more comfortable eating out than in the recent past years. This release focuses on the four largest states by number of restaurants, which are California, Texas, New York and Florida, which account for 12.2 percent of the total national market.
Evaluating the four most populated states, Texas had the most growth, with a 3.1 percent positive net change in number of restaurants opening over the year. Texas also had the 4th largest overall net market growth in the nation behind Connecticut (4.0 percent), Nebraska (3.2 percent), and Nevada (3.1 percent). However due to the size of Texas, the second most populous state in the nation, net restaurant growth was greater in terms of total new establishment openings. Florida on the other hand, was the only state out of the top four with a net decline, shrinking its total number of restaurants by 0.9 percent.
CHD Expert’s report also finds that the Quick Casual restaurant market segment faired well in all four states, with a positive percent increase of over 3 percent in each of the four states. Quick Casual restaurants are defined as: limited-service restaurants with an average check between $7 and $10, where the food is innovative, suited to sophisticated tastes and is prepared to order with fresh (or perceived as fresh) ingredients, with a more upscale interior than a typical fast food establishment. Examples of Quick Casual Restaurant chains include Corner Bakery, Chipotle, and Panera Bread.
New York however saw their largest growth come from the Quick Service segment with a 5.4 percent over-all net growth in the category. Quick Service is defined as: limited-service restaurant with an average check under $7 and are typically traditional “fast-food” restaurants. Examples include McDonalds, Subway and Uptown Deli.
The market segment that had the most decline overall during 2012 was Ice Cream Parlors and Frozen Deserts. Interestingly enough, the decline is not a result of seasonality, as the decline in overall number of establishments is steady through out the year. In this segment, California had a net decline of 5.7 percent, Texas declined 2.5 percent, New York declined 3.4 percent and Florida declined 6.9 percent.
CHD Expert also reported interesting trends among the top four states’ menu type growth. Texas and New York both had significant growth among the Mexican Menu Type, with a net growth at 10 percent and 5.7 percent respectively. Also staying true to its roots, New York grew significantly in the sandwich, soups, salads, deli, and hot dog menu type with a net year over year growth of 7.4 percent. One common trend among all four states was the overall growth of the American Traditional Menu Type. American Traditional can be defined as a broad based menu, highlighting traditional American fare, like Denny’s, IHop, Ruby Tuesday, and Cracker Barrel. Alternatively, Varied menu type had significant decline in all four states.
Although many American consumers remain budget-conscious when dining out, the restaurant industry as a whole has begun to show signs of recovery. Looking at the specific market segments, the data is showing similar results across the board.
“For the first time in years we are seeing a positive net change in the number of new establishments who are opening their doors for the first time,” said Catherine Kearns, General Manager of CHD Expert. “States like California and New York have always played an important role in dictating trends in America, and it is welcome news to see that they are beginning to show signs of prosperity.”
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