Meanwhile, large chains are adding to their unit counts.
Restaurant owners operating outside of large chains and franchise systems are having a hard time keeping their doors open for business.
According to a recent article in Nation’s Restaurant News, new data from the market research firm The NPD Group shows that numerous independent restaurants have shuttered over the last four years, despite the turnaround happening in the American economy. There are 19,000 fewer independent restaurants today than there were in 2012. However, on the other hand, the number of chain restaurants continues to rise—they’ve added 17,000 new locations in the same time frame.
“Independents are declining across the board, with some of the steepest declines occurring in the largest markets,” said NPD analyst Bonnie Riggs. She went on to say, “As more chains come on the scene, it’s difficult for independents to keep up with marketing dollars. Also, a lot of independent restaurants didn’t stay relevant in terms of consumer needs.”
Regional location seems to have an impact on whether or not independent restaurants survive—more restaurants are closing their doors in the Mountain, Mid Atlantic and West North Central regions. In the year that ended in March of 2016, independent restaurant counts dropped four percent in each of those regions.
To read the original Nation’s Restaurant News article, click here.