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July 22, 2015
Restaurant chain growth marches on. Sit-down restaurant chains are displaying extraordinary sticking power and the ability to weather the fast casual growth years. As a group they don't open as many units, but there are some casual recent-growth standouts with recent 4 month growth spurts, The Greene Turtle grew by 4 units, Coopers Hawk Winery 3 units along with larger chain, Buffalo Wild Wings who has opened more than 40 U.S. locations in just the past 4 months. For a fast casual comparison in the same past 4 month time period, Chipotle has opened more than 120 U.S. locations, Dickey's Pit BBQ more than 30 and Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza, 12.
April 9, 2015
Restaurant multi-units are continuing to open more stores in the fast casual and quick service sector than any other. The story hasn't changed in more than 7 years. The fast casual sector led by Sandwich and $8-$12 per person entree offerings are the continual big winners. However, closing reports and legal filings are displaying a consolidation in burger based chains.
January 7, 2015
Restaurant chain success remains robust. After a deeep in-house cleaning of restaurant chain locations, estimated closures have been relatively low at a rate of around 4% (annualized) compared to independently owned locations that hover around 10%.
November 5, 2014
Restaurants are hopeful after a difficult October as they hung on through the Ebola crisis and election results. Restaurant new openings counts were down slightly and open restaurants had a softening in their traffic. In the past two weeks new opening counts were greater than 1,000 per week.
September 2, 2014
New restaurant activity is perking back up. The Winter did not bode well for the new opening stream of activity. We saw an average of (approx) 720 new openings per week compared to (approx) 900 per week in recent years (since 2008-09') during the first seven months of 2014. In the most recent five week period, there were three weeks with more than 1000 new openings.
June 17, 2014
Brand new! See the just released TOP 10 list of fastest growing restaurant chains. In order to be on the list companies must have less than 50 units. Click >>>
April 1, 2014
Watch out Fast Casual! Sit down restaurants are making a comeback. In the most recent Top 10,
6 restaurant companies are either casual/family or upscale restaurants.
December 16, 2013
New openings and chain developments continue opening at a similar count regarding type and style as they have for the previous 8 years. However there has been a slow evolve back towards full service sit-down restaurants. Lately QSR openings are 63/37 compared to full service sit-down restaurants opening each week in the US. Multi-unit openings are 77/23 QSR/Sit down.
September 17, 2013
Announcing a Brand New Portal and Directory.
A new way to search! Click here...
April 19, 2013
New restaurant chain growth in the frozen yogurt category has hit new heights. We believe it's driven by the $5 trend that began (and has remained) in 2007. Three chains have grown to more than 200 operating units each. We will be announcing those companies shortly.
February 19, 2013
Restaurants are continuing their crusade in blurring the lines between food consumed inside the home versus outside as supermarket food costs continue to spiral upward. Openings of casual and fast casual units are displaying abnormal regional growth in regions such as NY, MO and VA.
Other symptoms are displayed in regional menu variation with an "up-classing" of menus items in casual and even quick service restaurants. Those that used to serve chicken finger centric menus are now serving smoked salmon and exotic dishes with nouveau names.
January 15, 2013
The new year brings continued growth of fast casual and QSR as dominant sector leaders. On the other hand family/casual and upscale sectors have experienced a rebound and now count for 25-30% of rapid, recent growers. Prior three years percentages were in the mid teens.
October 16, 2012
Next week we will be publishing the latest Top 10 list. The restaurant landscape is much the same as fast casual dominates the landscape in continuum. A couple of casual restaurant growers are proving that good food at a reasonable price with friendly table service still works: The Greene Turtle and Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza. They have increased unit growth consistently over the past three years and are experiencing rapid expansion.
April 17, 2012
We recently released our latest TOP growing restaurant chain list of companies with between 50-100 units. Typically our list is comprised of 20 companies. There were 10 companies in the preceding quarter who fit the parameters. Chain growth has slowed in the past 6-8 months for companies of this unit count size.
March 19, 2012
Growth remains strong in QSR and fast casual restaurant activity. Family/Casual restaurant chains are still maintaining counts of locations. New independent openings have recently displayed some new growth in cafes with more highly regarded food and food service.
So far overall counts of new activity is the same as last year within 1-2%. Contrary to widely published research calls regarding the casual sector, casual store chain locations remain in business and are improving.
January 25, 2012
We are forecasting the following for this year:
1) The number of food outlets will remain steady for another year. Type and style of growers in staunchly in the QSR/Quick Casual sector. Casual and upscale development of new restaurants will total less than 10%.
2) Technology will continue to improve operations. We expect rapid adaption of FOH technology services that lean towards customer interaction tools such as electronic menus, self and waiter assisted POS systems and improved feedback tools for management.
3) Customer service at chef driven restaurants is on red alert.
4) Snacks as meals continue. Food items/meals between $3-$8 will continue to be the common denominator pricing range.
January 3, 2012
Legal filings of new restaurant openings had a good end of year finish with a 3% increase over last year. We will be displaying our full list of predictions for 2012 and the results of last years predictions next week. As for the current state in the industry, we anticipate little change regarding type and style of foodservice operations that are growing and succeeding.
A sneak peek into two of our predictions from our list are: 1) Low cost menu item outlets combined with speed of service and genuine (customer concern) touches will continue to win. 2) The key word of the survivors is "culture."
October 6, 2011
Restaurant multi-unit operators in the lower per person check range continue to thrive. Growth marches on in this segment as low check averages collide with super market costs regarding day-part meal consumption. The few upscale and family/casual sector restaurants who are growing or maintaining year over year average unit volume continue to push FOH service as their vehicle to retain customers. Franchisors in the QSR and quick/casual sector continue to enjoy strong unit growth.
Additionally online ordering has made strides in relation to the Monday-Friday, 7AM-midnight office market helping their customers manage meal allowances. All in all, new filings and growth continues. We continue to see almost no discernible difference in new activity during the entirety of the recession period.
June 2, 2011
New restaurant filings have improved and increased in net numbers in the first six months of 2011 vs. 2010. Percentage increases are nearing 4% overall. The type and style of new openings continue to mirror the prior three years. $3-$8 per person check average foodservice outlets are the concrete standard of rapid growers. However late to the current call of today's business climate, other restaurant research firms in recent months have been echoing this fact we began to display in June of 2008. We see no reason to believe the majority of type and style regarding new openings will change into 2012.
March 11, 2011
New BBQ restaurant openings grew by 10% in 2010 and are currently tracking a 20% increase in 2011 from 2010. Watch for continued development in this cuisine type as multi-unit operators emulate their efforts.
February 08, 2011
In the prior year restaurants grew at an overall rate of 1.01% according to new opening data. There was a 12% greater number of single-unit independent openings versus chain openings. Currently QSR remain the dominant category of growth.
November 23, 2010
Drinkable food and juice chains are hot as check averages have hit bottom. Companies who are replicating units are in the sub $5 PPA. A large percentage of chains who are expanding are juice or yogurt based. Our recent November Top 20 list and other recent Top 20 lists reveal this certain trend. All in all, restaurants have continued to open in similar amounts as in the past five years.