Foodservice Equipment Reports

Restaurant Unit Numbers Grew 0.5% Over Past Year, Traffic Was Flat, NPD Reports

The total number of restaurants in the U.S. market grew moderately the past year, according to spring data from The NPD’s Group twice-a-year restaurant census, ReCount. The number of total net units grew 0.5%, or an addition of 3,045, to 617,505. The new totals are a revision of previous ReCount totals based on new information. The current census period covers the year ended March 31.

NPD also announced that total restaurant traffic was flat for the year ended May. There were 61 billion visits to restaurants during the period, or 193 annual per capita visits. The total remains 1.73 billion visits below the number for the year ended May 2009, NPD said. At the peak of the market in 2000, per capita annual visits reached 210.

Once again, as has been the trend for years, chains added more units than their independent competitors. Chain unit counts rose 1.3% to 280,336, a gain of 3,581 net units. Independents lost 536 units, down 0.2% to a total of 337,169.

For information on NPD research products, including the firm’s ReCount census and CREST foodservice consumer behavior research, which tracks traffic, sales and other data for both commercial and noncommercial segments, visit

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