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Restaurant Locations Increased 3 percent in 2016

As of March 2017, the number of restaurants in the U.S. totaled 700,700 locations, according to data from CHD Experts. This represents a 3 percent increase compared to March of 2016.

CHD released the data as part of its 2017 Restaurant Unit Report.

Independent restaurants netted 24,000 new locations or a 5 percent increase over last year, per CHD. CHD defines an independent as a restaurant with less than 10 units in operation, whereas a chain has 10 or more.

In total, 37 states saw positive growth since 2016, as did the District of Columbia, where unit counts increased by 2.7 percent. New York, Texas, Illinois, North Dakota and Michigan were the states that experienced the most growth, per CHD.

Eleven states had a decrease in total restaurants in operation since 2016, led by West Virginia, which shrank by 2 percent, per CHD. Alaska and Maine were the only other states to see a net loss of more than 1 percent of the states’ total restaurants. Given all of the turnover and new openings that has occurred over the past year, Delaware and Oregon had flat growth.

Considering growth by menu type, bars and grills experienced the strongest growth, according to CHD. This segment added more than 4,400 units nationwide. Restaurants with Latin American and bakery/donut-based menus also saw strong growth nationwide.