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National Restaurant Association - Economist’s Notebook: Restaurant industry adds most locations since 2007

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Economist’s Notebook: Restaurant industry adds most locations since 2007

In his latest commentary, the National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy looks at the latest establishment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In a sign of continued resilience in the midst of a challenging economy, the restaurant industry added locations last year at its strongest rate since 2007, and continued to outperform the nation’s overall private sector. 

Despite the challenging economic environment, the restaurant industry added locations last year at its strongest pace since 2007.  According to recently-released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the restaurant industry added a net 10,198 establishments* in 2011, which was more than the combined net increase in 2009 and 2010 (10,010 establishments).  In addition, the 2011 performance was the strongest gain since 2007, when the industry added a net 13,169 locations. 

In percentage terms, the restaurant industry added locations at a 1.8 percent rate in 2011, nearly double the 1.0 percent net increase in establishments for the nation’s overall private sector.

On the state level, trends were mostly positive in 2011. Forty-four states (including the District of Columbia) added eating and drinking place locations in 2011, while 7 states experienced a decline in locations. In 2010, 41 states (including DC) added eating and drinking place locations, while 10 states saw a decline.

Texas led the nation by adding a net 1,478 eating and drinking place establishments in 2011, followed closely by New York with a net increase of 1,412 locations. Florida added 1,225 industry establishments in 2011, while Illinois posted an increase of 855 locations.

In percentage terms, Arizona set the pace with a strong 5.3 increase in eating and drinking place establishments in 2011. The District of Columbia (4.8%), Indiana (4.2%) and Texas (3.9%) were also among the leaders in establishment growth in 2011.

In contrast, Michigan lost a net 335 eating and drinking place locations in 2011, a 2.1 percent drop from its 2010 level. California lost a net 226 eating and drinking place establishments in 2011, while Louisiana’s eating and drinking place sector declined by a net 79 locations.

Eating and Drinking Place Establishments by State

State Establishments July 2012.gifSource: National Restaurant Association analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data

*The establishment figures, which are based on unemployment insurance filings of businesses that have wage and salary employees, represent the most comprehensive census of establishments with payroll employees on the national, state and local levels.

For additional analysis of restaurant industry trends, log on to Restaurant TrendMapper (subscription required).

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