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National Restaurant Association - Economist's Notebook: Restaurant industry added nearly 7,700 locations in 2010

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Economist's Notebook: Restaurant industry added nearly 7,700 locations in 2010

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.  Despite the challenging economic environment, the restaurant industry added nearly 7,700 locations in 2010, and continued to outperform the nation’s overall private sector.     


In a sign of continued resilience in the midst of a challenging economic environment, the restaurant industry added a net 7,687 establishments* in 2010, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The 2010 performance was a solid improvement over 2009, when the industry added a net 2,568 locations.  In percentage terms, the restaurant industry added establishments at a 1.4 percent rate in 2010, up from a modest 0.5 percent gain in 2009.


Although the restaurant industry’s location growth remained below the strong 2006 and 2007 gains of more than 13,000 locations each year, it continued to outpace the overall private sector.  The overall private sector lost a net 4,000 establishments in 2010, which followed a decline of more than 80,000 establishments in 2009.  In fact, the restaurant industry outperformed the overall private sector in each of the last five years, in terms of growth rates in the number of locations.

Within the restaurant industry, the fullservice segment led the way with a net gain of 3,968 establishments in 2010, after adding just 753 locations in 2009.  The quickservice segment added a net 2,973 locations in 2010, nearly double the 1,512 establishments added in 2009. 

Meanwhile, the snack and nonalcoholic beverage bar segment – including coffee, donut and ice cream shops – added only 162 locations, after expanding by at least 1,000 locations in each of the previous eight years. 

The drinking place segment (bars and taverns) was the only major category to register a net decline in locations in 2010.  The number of drinking places fell by 282 in 2010, after declining by 628 locations in 2009.

Net Increase in the Number of Eating and Drinking Place Establishments

E&D Establishments.gif

Source: 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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