The Restaurant Industry Begins to Rebound as Establishments Continue to Open throughout the U.S.

Chicago-based foodservice database, marketing, and analytics firm, CHD Expert reports that the number of restaurantshas increased nationwide in 2012, according to CHD Expert’s 2012 Year-To-Date Net Market Changes Report.

According to this report, the following ten states saw the largest percentage of positive net change in the restaurant industry, from January to June 2012: West Virginia, New York, Connecticut, California, Texas, Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas, and North Dakota. West Virginia and New York took the lead, at 3.6 percent and 2.6 percent positive net change respectively, while Kansas and North Dakota rounded out the top ten, both at 1.2 percent net change. See Figure 1 “Net Change – States with Positive Change (Top 10)”.

Net Change- States with Positive Change (Top 10)

Restaurants with menus catering to traditional American fare, Mexican, and bar and grill menus showed the largest increases, while fine dining and upscale establishment growth remained flat throughout the first half of 2012. However, while fine dining and upscale restaurants didn’t show growth in numbers, this flat growth is encouraging compared to the past few years of decline in this segment. See Figure 2 “Percent Changes by Menu Type”.

Percent Changes by Menu Type

The fast casual market also continues to grow at a steady rate, as consumers have upgraded from quick service restaurants. These time-crunched consumers are still looking for a fast food alternative, but with a more up-scale twist, diverse menu selection and perceived healthier food options. As the United States becomes more health conscious overall, consumers are seeking food establishments with better quality products, in addition to improved service, and a comfortable, accommodating atmosphere in which to dine.

While money has been one of the top concerns for consumers since the economic downturn, and still is for many of them, the overall foodservice market landscape is beginning to recover and show signs of small, incremental growth as shown in this report. This indicates that consumers are starting to have more confidence in the economy as they are beginning to dine out and spend money more frequently after long periods of stagnation. “As we move through the last quarter of 2012 and into the beginning of 2013, we believe we will continue to see improvements as more establishments expand their menu offerings as well as open more locations throughout the U.S,” stated Catherine Kearns, General Manager of CHD Expert.

CHD Expert is the worldwide leader in collecting, managing, and analyzing data for the Away-from-Home Global Foodservice Market. For more than 10 years, CHD Expert has been dedicated to support Foodservice channel members in providing a global vision and an in-depth understanding of the industry (in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific).

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