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CHD Expert Releases the Latest Comprehensive Report of the Restaurant Industry by State

May.13.2015
09:00:00 AM
usa-map-reportCHD Expert, the Chicago-based foodservice database and analytics firm, has released its highly anticipated 2015 Restaurant Unit Report.  The Unit Report breaks down the volume of restaurants by menu type and segment in each of the 50 United States.


The Restaurant Unit Report’s segmentation separates chain and independent operators, and full service restaurants (FSR) and limited service restaurants (LSR) in each state. These particular breakdowns illustrate the variability of the restaurant industry across the nation, highlighting the value of robust data in each market segment.

“An in-depth understanding of the dynamic restaurant landscape is critical for any foodservice focused organization that wants to expand,” said Brad Bloom, VP of Sales and Marketing at CHD Expert The Americas. “As identified in our Commercial Trend Report, the restaurant industry has rebounded entirely from its recession woes while new, innovative restaurants are constantly opening across the nation to satisfy evolving consumer pallets. This Restaurant Unit Report helps suppliers target the types of restaurants most likely to purchase their products.”

As of May 2015, CHD Expert reports that there are over 673,000 restaurants in operation across the United States. Unsurprisingly, population dense states such as California, Texas, New York, and Florida are home to the highest number of restaurants. California alone accounts for 12 percent of the national total and when the “Big 4” states are combined, they account for 34 percent of the nation’s total restaurants.

Other states in the union boast interesting numbers that are worthy of recognition.  For example, while Kentucky is in the bottom half of states considering total number of restaurants (the state ranks 29th), it has the largest percentage of Full Service Chain Restaurants of any state (18 percent). The opposite is true in Vermont, the state with the highest percent of Full Service Independent Restaurants, as independent FSRs make up 97 percent of the state’s restaurant landscape.

Considering the Limited Service Restaurant (LSR) market, New York leads the way with the largest percentage of LSR Independents, with 62 percent of NY’s LSRs being Independent. To the contrary, Iowa has the highest percentage of total LSR Chain Restaurants at 73 percent of the state’s restaurant market.  For suppliers that have contracted chain business, Iowa may be a priority to audit for compliance of their national sales at the individual unit versus the actual operators that exist in that market.

The ability to footprint the national and regional restaurant landscape in this fashion is invaluable for restaurant industry suppliers, including equipment manufacturers, distributors and brokers. Depending on the supplier’s sales channel strategy, it may behoove a supplier to pursue relationships with independent operators, where they have direct access to the decision maker and an opportunity for higher sales margins, which are customary when selling ‘direct to operator’.

Understanding those markets with a large independent footprint is especially valuable for suppliers and distributors when planning sales territories and placement of sales resources.   Focusing marketing dollars to higher margin operators will bring a larger ROI to those efforts.  Club Stores rely heavily on sales to independent restaurant operators to grow their business, and understanding the footprint of surrounding restaurant types allows accurate in store product placement, as well as targeted marketing efforts to those restaurants who don’t currently purchase.

To access the Restaurant Unit Report in its entirety, please click here.

If you would like detailed information on the restaurant operators identified in each state, or more information about the restaurant industry, please contact Brad Bloom: [email protected]

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