Information from foodservice data and analytics firm CHD Expert shows an overall rebound for the restaurant industry, with 2.7 percent net growth in the US restaurant industry in 2013. Even better, it was also the second consecutive year where more restaurants opened than closed. Approximately 50,000 new restaurants opened vs. 29,000 closings, a stark contrast to just four years prior. This welcome disparity resulted in an approximate 2.7 percent net growth among the restaurant industry.
As of May 2014, CHD Expert reports that there are over 665,000 restaurants in operation across the United States, accounting for 81 percent of the 822,000 Commercial Foodservice establishments.
Further breaking down the current restaurant industry landscape, Full Service Restaurants (FSRs) and Limited Service Restaurants (LSRs) have almost even shares of the market, with FSRs making up 49 percent of the restaurant landscape. FSRs are defined as restaurants with wait-staff and table service, whereas LSRs, who make up 51 percent, require patrons to pay at a counter before receiving food.
While the market is evenly split between FSRs and LSRs, the composition of each varies significantly. In the FSR market, Independent restaurants account for more than 90 percent of the total number of establishments. Conversely, LSRs are divided more evenly between Chains (57.5 percent of the LSR market), and Independent establishments (42.5 percent of the LSR market).
Looking across the state level, CHD Expert finds that the restaurant landscape is as diverse as the states themselves. To no surprise, California boasts the highest number of restaurants of any U.S. state, accounting for 12.7 percent of the national total. However, after breaking the market down by FSR/LSR, and comparing Chain vs. Independent, different states demonstrate a clear preference for different types of restaurants and dining experiences that appeal to their citizens.
For example, 17.8 percent of all restaurants in Kentucky are Full Service Chain Restaurants; they have the largest percentage of FSR Chain restaurants out of any state in the US. In contrast, FSR Chain restaurants comprise only 7.4 percent of California's restaurant market. In the FSR Independent segment, Alaska is the leading state with FSR Independent Restaurants comprising of more than 95 percent of the state's restaurant market.
In the LSR segment, Vermont has the leading percentage of LSR Independent establishments, at 61.9 percent of total restaurants within the state. Iowa, on the other hand, has the highest percentage of total LSR Chain Restaurants which account for 72.3 percent of its restaurant market. These findings demonstrate the variability in the restaurant industry and the importance of detailed examination – and data – of each market segment.
For the complete report, including a link to a Restaurant Unit Report, with a breakdown of restaurants by state (including the number of Mexican/Latin restaurants by state), click here.