To thrive, independent restaurant operators who run just one or two units should aim to become micro-chains of between three and 19 units — a category that is increasing in major U.S. cities, a new study from NPD Group suggests.
Operators of just one or two independent restaurants saw a 4 percent decline in their numbers from a year ago, the research firm said.
Micro-chains, on the other hand, are growing in eight metropolitan markets: Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco and Washington D.C., NPD said. The small chains typically reflect emerging food trends and are noted for a positive customer experience, the report found.
Micro-chain growth is benefitting U.S. foodservice distributors, NPD said. The chains increased their total spend with these distributors by 5 percent and cases ordered by 3 percent in the first quarter of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016. By comparison, the total dollar spend for all restaurant and retail foodservice operators with foodservice distributors was up 2 percent, and cases ordered were up 1 percent.
Source: meatingplace.com, 8-7-17