Data Says San Francisco's Restaurant Scene Growing Faster than New York City's

Coffee was one of the fastest growing forums in New York City in the past three years.
Coffee was one of the fastest growing forums in New York City in the past three years.

Payments technology company First Data compiled data on restaurant growth in New York City and San Francisco from January 2013 to December 2015. The company is responsible for more than 60 billion transactions per year, or 2,000 transactions per second, from millions of merchants. The data was collected in a SpendTrend Report, which is a macro-economic indicator based on aggregate same-store sales activity in the First Data Point of Sale Network.

Here are some of the findings:

According to the data, San Francisco’s restaurant scene is growing faster than New York’s. In 2013 and 2015, San Francisco topped the Big Apple. In 2013 restaurants grew 7 percent in the Bay Area compared to 6.2 percent in New York City. In 2015 that difference almost doubled—San Francisco grew 6.6 percent against 3.5 percent. New York City came ahead in 2014 at a 5.6 to 5.4 percent margin.

The data shows that a limited number of restaurant types prevail in New York City, with cafes and bagel and donut shops leading the way at 2015 gains of 16.4 percent and 16.6 percent, respectively. In San Francisco, the selection was more diverse. Mexican (14.1 percent), Korean (10 percent), and Asian (13.5 percent) experienced double-digit growth.

Cafes, French, and vegan and vegetarian restaurants saw the fastest decline in the Bay Area. Cafes slowed from 19.2 to 5.6 percent, while vegan and vegetarian fell from 13.1 percent to 4.9 percent.

In New York City, French restaurants (-0.3 percent), steakhouses (-1.5 percent), and bakeries (-6.3 percent) rounded out the bottom of the list in 2015.

New Yorkers’ on-the-go lifestyles led to a 16.6, 13.9, and 16.6 percent steady growth in 2013, 2014, and 2015 for bagel and donut shops. That carried over to delis, which grew 10.5, 8.6, and 14.5 percent. Coffee, cafes, and tea houses more than doubled in the three years, starting at 6.4 percent and measuring at 16.4 percent in 2015.

San Francisco saw consistent restaurant growth in Candlestick Point, Bayview, and Hunter’s Point, while New York City concentrated most of its action in southern Manhattan, along with East Harlem, the Upper West Side, SoHo, and Tribeca.

In New York City, café, coffee, and tea houses nearly tripled in growth since 2013. The growth actually dropped from 19 percent to 5.6 percent in the same period in San Francisco.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

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