The NPD ReCount data showed overall restaurant numbers down 5,551, or 1%, from a year earlier. ReCount is a census of commercial restaurant locations in the United States and Canada. Independent restaurant units dropped by 2% while chain counts were flat.
The declines fell more heavily on full-service restaurants, though quick service restaurants also lost ground. Full-service restaurant units, which include casual dining, mid-scale, and fine dining segments, experienced a unit loss of 3,429, or 1%. Quick service restaurants lost 2,122 units, or 1%, the NPD Group said.
“These past two years have been particularly tough for independents, which don’t have the resources to compete with the chains,” said Greg Starzynski, director, product development-food service at NPD. “Over the past few years we’ve lost several thousand independent restaurants.”