CHICAGO -- Consumers are beginning to dine out more frequently and are spending money, as the number of restaurants that have opened nationwide in 2012 has increased, foodservice database, marketing and analytics firm CHD Expert's 2012 Year-To-Date Net Market Changes Report.
The following 10 states saw the largest growth in restaurant openings from January to June 2012: West Virginia, New York, Connecticut, California, Texas, Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas and North Dakota.
West Virginia and New York took the lead, at 3.6% and 2.6% positive net change, respectively, while Kansas and North Dakota rounded out the top ten, both at 1.2% net change (see File Attachments below for chart).
Restaurants with menus catering to traditional American fare, Mexican, and bar and grill menus showed the largest increases, while fine dining and upscale establishment growth remained flat throughout the first half of 2012 (see File Attachments below for chart).
The fast-casual market also continues to grow at a steady rate, as consumers have upgraded from quick-service restaurants (QSRs). These time-crunched consumers are still looking for a fast-food alternative, but with a more diverse menu selection. As the United States becomes more health conscious overall, consumers are seeking food establishments with better quality products, in addition to improved service, and a comfortable, accommodating atmosphere in which to dine.
While money has been one of the top concerns for consumers since the economic crisis and still is for many of them, the overall foodservice market landscape is beginning to recover and show signs of small, incremental growth, said the report. This indicates that consumers are starting to have more confidence in the economy as they are beginning to dine out and spend money more frequently after long periods of stagnation.
"As we move through the last quarter of 2012 and into the beginning of 2013, we believe we will continue to see improvements as more establishments expand their menu offerings as well as open more locations throughout the U.S," said Catherine Kearns, general manager of CHD Expert, Chicago.
CHD Expert supports foodservice providers in their sales and marketing strategies by providing foodservice census and housing operator intelligence.