Foodservice Equipment Reports

Unit Growth Slow During Past Year, Reports NPD

The number of net restaurant units grew by less than 1% for the year ended March 31, according to data from The NPD Group's biannual ReCount restaurant census. The market added 5,002 net units to reach 635,494. Almost 80% of the new units were chain restaurants, a growth of 1.3%. Independent operators, who control 351,359 total units, saw growth of only 0.4% during the year-long period.

Quick-service locations continued to grow while full-service restaurants witnessed a net decline for the year. QSR units rose 2% to a total of 337,667, while FSR counts fell 1% to 297,827, NPD reported.

"Restaurant unit growth and declines typically correlate to the growth or opportunities within a given segment, category or even geography," said Greg Starzynski, direct of product management for NPD Foodservice. NPD noted that traffic to full-service concepts and independent units have been falling. For the year ended June, traffic fell 4% at midscale concepts and 3% at casual-dining restaurants. Traffic was down 1% at independents while flat at chains.

The ReCount census is available in a wide variety of breakdowns, including by menu, concept and service types as well as by highly detailed regional and local data. Information is at npd.com.  

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