The U.S. restaurant count increased by less than one percent from a year ago reaching a total of 633,043 units, according to a recent restaurant census conducted by The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Restaurant units increased by 4,179, a slight 0.7 percent increase over last year, based on NPD’s Fall 2013 ReCount, which is a count of commercial restaurant locations in the United States compiled in the spring and fall each year.
Restaurant chains grew counts by 1 percent to a total of 281,613 units, an increase of 3,171 over last year, according to NPD’s Fall 2013 ReCount, which includes restaurants open as of September 30, 2013. The independent restaurant count stood at 351,430, up 1,008 units compared to the year ago census. Quick service restaurant s grew units to 333,970, up two percent, and unit counts for full service restaurants, which include casual dining, midscale/family dining, and fine dining, declined by one percent to 299,073 units. Fast casual, which is a restaurant category under the quick service segment, increased units by 902 for a total of 16,215 in the most recent NPD restaurant census, up six percent from the Fall 2012 ReCount.
According to NPD’s CREST, which every day tracks consumer use of commercial and non-commercial foodservice outlets daily, total restaurant traffic visits were flat in the year ending December 2013, compared to the same period last year. U.S. consumers made 61 billion restaurant visits during the period.
“The restaurant recovery continues to move slowly and as a result operators are taking a cautious approach to expansion,” says Greg Starzynski, director- product management, NPD Foodservice. “This conservative approach to restaurant unit expansion will continue into the foreseeable future.”
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