Foodservice Equipment Reports

Total U.S. Restaurant Units Declined 2% During Past Year, Says NPD

The Great Foodservice Recession is catching up with foodservice operators in the U.S., though nearly all the pain is among independents, according the latest ReCount unit census data from The NPD Group. The total number of units in the U.S. fell by 9,450 to 574,050, or 2%, during the year that ended March 31, NPD said. All but 800 of the units were independents, a 3% decline.

“The decline in independent units is the steepest we’ve seen since NPD began conducting the Spring ReCount census in 2001,” said Greg Starzynski, NPD director of product development-foodservice. The number of full-service restaurants fell by 2%, or 5,965, while quick service lost 3,485 units or 1%.

One of the surprising things about the recent strong downturn in the economy and foodservice has been how few net units have gone out of the U.S. restaurant market. There are still upwards of 23,000 more units in the U.S. now than there were in the spring of ’06.

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