CHICAGO ? The NPD Group released some numbers recently saying that the total US restaurant count decreased marginally (-0.6 percent) from a year ago. There was a 2 percent decline in independent restaurant units, which contributed to the total restaurant decline according to NPD’s fall 2015 ReCount. This survey includes all restaurants opened before Sept. 30, 2015.
During last year, chain restaurants increased by 1 percent from the previous year from 289,726 to 292,943 units. According to the study, some of the reasons for the decline in independent restaurants were both quick service and the full-service segments of stores. Most independent restaurants are considered in the full-service segment including casual dining, midscale/family dining, and fine dining.
The biggest decline in the full-service restaurants was in casual and fine dining along with the quick service segment of sandwich/Mexican-type restaurants. Fast casual quick service continued to grow, increasing by 5 percent from 18,176 units in fall 2014 to 19,043 in fall 2015.
According to the NPD’s foodservice market research, CREST, US restaurants visits to quick-service restaurants, which represent 79 percent of total industry traffic, were up 1 percent, while full-service restaurant traffic, representing 21 percent of total visits, declined.
For the biggest cities in the country, it was a mixture of results for those restaurants. The New York-Newark-Jersey City area was the largest decline with 6 percent dropping from 48,239 restaurants to 46,793. In the Los Angeles area, restaurants increased by 2 percent from 28,928 in fall 2014 to 29,208 in fall 2015. The restaurants in the Chicago area declined by 3 percent, decreasing from 19,577 to 19,322. In Dallas, restaurant counts went up by 3 percent, from 13,542 to 13,763; restaurant units in the Houston metro also increased by 3 percent from 12,149 to 12,339.