The Metro Area with the Most Fast Casual Restaurants Per Resident Is…

Fast Casual Chain Units Increase by 7% from Spring 2012

Chicago, August 26, 2013 —Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado is the U.S. metro area with the most fast casual chain units per resident, according to the latest restaurant census conducted by The NPD Group, a leading global information company.  Of the 15,728 fast casual chain units in the U.S., the Fort Collins-Loveland metro area has only 41 but is number one in terms of unit density at 13.14 fast casual chain locations per 100,000 residents, according to NPD’s Spring 2013 ReCount® restaurant census.   The U.S. average is only 5.00 fast casual chain units per 100,000 residents.

Many fast casual chains, which are upscale quick service restaurant (QSR) concepts that offer more service, higher quality food, and have a larger average check size than other fast food restaurants, have been the success story of the restaurant industry. Visits to fast casual restaurants continue to grow when total restaurant industry traffic has had little growth. In the year ending May 2013, visits to fast casual restaurants increased by 9 percent while total industry traffic was flat, according to NPD’s CREST®, which tracks daily how consumers use restaurants.  NPD’s Spring 2013 ReCount, which is a restaurant census conducted in the spring and fall each year, shows that fast casual chain units increased by 7 percent from last year’s spring census.       

Other metro areas with the most fast casual chain restaurants per resident are the Colorado metro areas of Denver-Aurora-Broomfield (density of 12.76) and Boulder (density 12.53). Tallahassee, Florida

(density 11.74); Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky (density 11.72), and Gainesville, Florida (density 11.69) are next in rank order.  The largest city to have the most fast casual chain residents per resident is the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia metro area that ranks seventh in population with 5.8 million residents and has 10.23 fast casual chain units per 100,000 residents.

Top Ten Metro CBSA's in Fast Casual Chain Density
CBSA NAME Units CBSA Population1 DENSITY
(Units/100k Population
TOTAL U.S. 15,728 314,736,953 5.00
Fort Collins-Loveland, CO Metro 41 311,934 13.14
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO Metro 337 2,640,301 12.76
Boulder, CO Metro 38 303,277 12.53
Tallahassee, FL Metro 44 374,691 11.74
Lexington-Fayette, KY Metro 57 486,398 11.72
Gainesville, FL Metro 32 273,669 11.69
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV Metro 225 2,021,906 11.13
Bloomington-Normal, IL Metro 19 170,920 11.12
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metro 593 5,797,916 10.23
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL Metro 223 2,181,093 10.22

Source: The NPD Group/Spring 2013 ReCount®
1 Population estimate from Applied Geographic Solutions, Inc., Cambria, CA

“Many of the fast casual chains have been adding units in an otherwise soft restaurant environment,” says Greg Starzynski, director- product management, NPD Foodservice.  “Traditional quick service restaurants have taken notice and are working to compete with the fast casual chains’ offerings, especially in terms of the freshness and quality of food. All of these efforts will benefit both the consumer and industry.”  

Notes:
The NPD Group: Fast Casual Chains as of Jan 2013: ATLANTA BREAD COMPANY, BACK YARD BURGERS, BAJA FRESH MEXICAN GRILL, BAJIO MEXICAN GRILL, BOLOCO/THE WRAP, BOSTON MARKET, BRUEGGER`S BAGELS, BURGERVILLE U.S.A., CAMILLE`S SIDEWALK CAFÉ, CAPRIOTTI`S SANDWICH SHOP, CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL, CORNER BAKERY, COSI, COUNTER, CRISPERS,  DAPHNES GREEK CAFÉ, EINSTEIN BROS. BAGELS, FARMER BOYS, FATBURGER, FAZOLI`S, FIREHOUSE SUBS, FIVE GUYS BURGERS AND FRIES, FREEBIRDS WORLD BURRITO, FUDDRUCKERS, HABIT BURGER GRILL, JASON`S DELI, JERRY`S SUBS & PIZZA, LA MADELEINE, LEEANN CHIN, MCALISTER`S DELI, MOE`S SOUTHWEST GRILL, NOODLES & COMPANY, PANDA EXPRESS, PANERA BREAD, PARADISE BAKERY & CAFÉ, PEI WEI ASIAN DINER, PENN STATION STEAK & SUB, PICK UP STIX, POLLO CAMPERO, POLLO TROPICAL, PORTILLO`S HOT DOGS, POTBELLY SANDWICH WORKS, PRET A MANGER, QDOBA MEXICAN GRILL, RAISING CANES, RED BRICK PIZZA, RUBIO`S FRESH MEXICAN, RUMBI ISLAND GRILL, SALADWORKS, SAMURAI SAM JR., SANDELLA`S CAFÉ, SCHLOTZSKY`S DELI, SHANE`S RIB SHACK, SMASH BURGER, SOUPLANTATION & SWEET TOMATOES, SPECIALTY`S CAFE & BAKERY, TIJUANA FLATS BURRITO CO,  TOKYO JOE`S,  WAHOO`S FISH TACO,  WHICH WICH, WINGSTOP, Z PIZZA, ZAXBY`S, ZOUP         
                

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Press Contact

Kim McLynn
847-692-1781
kim.mclynn@npd.com

@npdfood

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

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