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CHD Expert Releases Their 2017 Restaurant Unit Report, Breaking Down the 700,000 Restaurants That Serve the American People

The 2017 Restaurant Unit Report dissects the restaurant landscape across the USA. Identifying common menu types, segments and % independent and chain owned, across each of the 50 states.

Chicago, IL, April 05, 2017 --( CHD Expert, a global leader in aggregating, analyzing, and managing foodservice data, has released its 2017 Restaurant Unit Report. The report details the Full Service Restaurant (FSR) and Limited Service Restaurant (LSR) landscapes in each of the 50 United States and Washington, D.C. broken down by menu type and segment. The Report further segments chain and independent operators.

As of March 2017, CHD Expert reports that there are over 700,700 restaurants in operation across the United States, showing a 3% positive net growth of almost 22,000 restaurant locations since March 2016.

As the US restaurant landscape continues to rebound, the independent restaurant landscape saw a 5% uptick, resulting in a positive net change of more than 24,000 units compared to 2016. CHD Expert defines an independent as a restaurant with less than 10 units in operation, whereas a chain has 10 or more.

In total, 37 states in the union saw positive growth since 2016, as did D.C., where our nation’s capital grew by 2.7%. Growth on the state level was most remarkable in New York, Texas, Illinois, North Dakota and Michigan.

Eleven states had a decrease in total restaurants in operation since 2016, lead by struggling West Virginia, which shrank by 2%. Alaska and Maine were the only other states to see a net loss of > 1% of their total restaurants. Given all of the turnover and new openings that has occurred over the past year, Delaware and Oregon had flat growth (less than .01% variance).

Considering growth by Menu Type, the strongest uptick was among Bar & Grills. This menu type added more than 4,400 units nation wide, as was the only menu type to have a net increase in every state (and D.C.). The Latin American and Bakery/Donut Menu Types also saw strong growth nation wide. The Chinese Menu Type saw the largest decrease.

Within the 2017 FSR landscape, Vermont has the largest percentage of independents, with 98% of the state’s FSRs being classified as independent. With regard to chains, Kentucky has the largest percentage of total FSR chain restaurants, at 17% of the state’s FSR landscape.

On the 2017 LSR front, Iowa is the state with the largest percentage of chain restaurants within its borders, with chain restaurants making up 74 % of the state’s LSR landscape. New York is on the opposite side of the spectrum and a state where independent LSRs prosper, with 65% of the state’s LSRs being independent. Nationally, independent operators make up 42% of the LSR segment.

Naturally the states with the largest populations, such as New York, California, Texas, and Florida, have the highest volume of restaurants. When combined, these four states contain 36 % of the total number of restaurants in the United States.

In terms of total number of units, the top five most popular simplified menu types nation wide are Varied, Pizza Pasta, Sandwich, Mexican and Hamburger, in that order, accounting for 55% of the restaurants nation wide.

To access the Restaurant Unit Report in its entirety, please visit:

"The Restaurant Unit Report provides a easy snap shot of what types of restaurants flourish in each state," said Catherine Kearns, General Manager at CHD Expert The Americas. "This is especially valuable for suppliers who want to focus their efforts on certain markets or menu types. Furthermore, our recent introduction of franchisee data into our Easy2FIND platform, now gives unprecedented visibility into which chain restaurant are franchise owned. This intelligence is invaluable for both suppliers and chain restaurants who are looking to expand their territory."

To purchase a list of operators that fall within any state, menu type, or cell within the report, please contact

About CHD North America

Data Ingredients. Growth Served. For over 20 years, CHD Expert has collected, analyzed, and managed foodservice and hospitality data to help businesses win in this fragmented and fast-moving industry. Our comprehensive and segmented data allows us to adapt our local and global insights to our clients’ objectives. From ideas to execution, we deliver actionable solutions that drive business growth. To learn more, please visit
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