Recession Puts Dent in U.S. Restaurant Count

According to a news report from nrn.com, “The total number of restaurant locations in the United States shrunk during the past year, as smaller chains and independents in particular had difficulty weathering the economic storm.”

“According to the latest NPD Group ReCount, which tallies all commercial restaurant locations in the United States, the number of restaurants fell 1 percent this spring to 577,178 locations. A little more than 4,000 restaurants were closed from a year ago, when the United States boasted 581,201 restaurants, according to NPD research. The latest data was collected from April 1, 2008, to March 31, 2009,” said the story. “The hardest-hit categories were fine-dining independents, which saw unit counts fall 7 percent. Smaller family-dining chains were close behind, with a 6-percent drop in locations among chains of between 50 and 99 units and a 5-percent drop in locations among chains that numbered between 100 and 499 locations.”