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California Dreaming: CHD Expert Evaluates the Los Angeles Restaurant Industry Landscape
Food culture in Los Angeles takes inspiration from many international cuisines and with more than 5,000 restaurants in the city there is something for every taste.
(Chicago, IL – June 22, 2016) – People move to Los Angeles from around the world with grandiose aspirations to make it big in the entertainment business, but the success stories like those of Jim Carrey or Charlize Theron are few and far between. Many find their creative way in the restaurant industry and this coupled with LA’s already diverse mix of cultures and demographics have yielded an interesting, progressive and delicious food scene.
From some of the nations highest grossing restaurants like Nobu in Malibu, to revolutionary fast food restaurants like LocoL in Watts, Los Angeles is home to restaurateurs who are making their mark on the foodservice landscape.
As of May 2016, CHD Expert has data on more than 5,000 restaurants in Los Angeles and the local restaurant scene is as unique as the citizens who call LA home. In Figure 1, see the breakdown of specific menu types that have are more widespread in Los Angeles, compared to the USA as a whole.
Understandably Mexican and Asian restaurants are ubiquitous in LA, due to its high index of those ethnic populations. LA also expectedly has a high prevalence of the “California menu type” as Los Angelinos made this menu type famous, as well as doughnut shops, including the iconic Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood.
To consider LA’s ethnic breakdown, please see Figure 2, from the most recent 2010 US Government Census.
Further breaking down the landscape, according to the data, approximately 53 percent of restaurants in Los Angeles are considered Full Service Restaurants (FSR), and the remaining 47 percent are Limited Service Restaurants (LSR). FSRs offer table service and the bill is paid after food is consumed, and at LSRs food paid for before it is served. With regard to years in business, 71 percent of all (FSR and LSR combined) restaurants in Los Angeles have been in business for 5+ years while 17 percent have been open 2-5 years.
Approximately 22 percent of restaurants in Los Angles are classified as chains. CHD Expert considers a restaurant a chain when it has 10 or more locations in operation. Restaurants with 9 or less locations are classified as Independent.
In Los Angeles, approximately 55 percent of LSRs are independent, and 97 percent of FSRs are independent. For comparison, nation wide, 40 percent of LSRs are independent and 90 percent of FSRs are independent. Indicating LA skews towards the independent operator.
The top five chains in terms of number of units in Los Angeles, and their market share of the chain restaurant market, are Subway (10%), Starbucks (9%), McDonald’s (5%), Jack In the Box (3%), and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (3%).
The remaining 78 percent of restaurants in LA are considered independent. Of the independent FSRs in Los Angeles, 64 percent fall into the Casual Dining segment, 23 percent are Family-style, 11 percent are Upscale Dining, and 2 percent are in the Fine Dining segment.
With regard to LSRs in Los Angeles, 61 percent are Quick Service, 20 percent are Fast Casual, 17 percent are LSR Beverages (Ice cream, coffee shops/tea houses, smoothie/juice), both the Delivery & take-away and Buffet segments make up 1 percent each.
Figure 3 compares Los Angeles, with two of the nations other most bustling restaurant scenes, New York and Chicago.
As both trendy progressive restaurants and more traditional restaurants look to source ingredients and supplies to set themselves apart from the crowd, suppliers and distributors will find themselves in a position to leverage new white space opportunities. Suppliers can market their products as a way for foodservice operators to take their food to the next level and increase perceived value among adventurous diners.
“The Los Angeles culinary scene has a unique demand that largely comes from the city’s fastidious consumer,” said Catherine Kearns, General Manager at CHD Expert The Americas. “Restaurants looking to elevate themselves and attract national notoriety are meticulous about not only what they put on the plate, but entire operation and customer experience. They want superior ingredients, quality utensils and cooking equipment, excellent staff, and innovative products that enhance the customer experience. Savvy suppliers can leverage CHD Experts data and services to increase their market penetration among these Los Angeles-based operators, or any target city around the globe.”
CHD Expert evaluated the most recent data within its foodservice database and packaged the most interesting facts and figures into an infographic designed to help foodservice industry professionals better understand the Los Angeles restaurant landscape.
To access the 2016 Los Angeles Restaurant Landscape Infographic in its entirety, please click here.
About CHD North America
For 20 years, CHD Expert has been the global leader in collecting, managing, and analyzing data for the Away-From-Home Foodservice Market. With over 5 Million operator records across 50 countries, CHD Expert helps organizations understand the foodservice industry landscape and leverage data to drive revenue.
Our service offerings range from providing raw data to turn key solutions, including: data records and analysis via attribute and segmentation filter combinations; call center solutions for foodservice market research, lead generation and appointment setting; email and direct mail campaigns, ad hoc reports on any foodservice region or segment, access to foodservice supply chain members from manufacturers to end users.
For additional information, please visit https://www.chd-expert.com or call 1-888-243-0154.