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National Restaurant Association - Economist's Notebook: Restaurant industry added over 8,300 locations in 2013

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Economist's Notebook: Restaurant industry added over 8,300 locations in 2013

The National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy breaks down the latest trends in restaurant locations.  The restaurant industry added a net 8,362 locations in 2013, an increase of 1.4 percent.  While growth was down from stronger gains in 2011 and 2012, it still represented the seventh consecutive year in which the industry outpaced the private sector.

The restaurant industry continued to expand at a healthy pace in 2013, albeit somewhat slower than recent years, according to newly-released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The restaurant industry added a net 8,362 establishments* in 2013, an increase of 1.4 percent.  The 2013 expansion followed stronger gains of 9,944 locations (+1.8 percent) in 2011 and 11,649 locations (+2.1 percent) in 2012. 

In comparison, the overall private sector added a net 103,861 business locations in 2013, a 1.2 percent increase over 2012.  The 2013 gain represented the strongest annual increase since 2008, which was the last time that the economy expanded by more than 100,000 business establishments in a single year.

Although growth in the restaurant industry slowed somewhat from its strong 2011 and 2012 gains, 2013 still represented the seventh consecutive year in which the industry outpaced the overall private sector, in terms of growth rates in the number of establishments.

Within the restaurant industry, the fullservice and quickservice segments grew at similar rates in 2013.  The fullservice segment added a net 3,622 establishments in 2013, while the quickservice segment added a net 3,401 locations.  Both segments expanded at 1.6 percent rates above their 2012 levels. 

The snack and nonalcoholic beverage bar segment – which includes concepts such as coffee, donut and ice cream shops – added a net 1,515 locations in 2013, a strong 3.1 percent increase over its 2012 level.  The solid 2013 growth represented the largest expansion in snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars since 2008, when the segment added more than 2,100 locations (a 4.8 percent increase). 

Read more from the Economist’s Notebook and get additional analysis of restaurant industry trends on Restaurant TrendMapper (subscription required).

*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.

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