The U.S. restaurant count reached 647,288 in fall of 2017, a 2 percent decrease in units from a year ago, based on a recent restaurant census conducted by The NPD Group, a leading global information company. The primary source of the decline in U.S. restaurant units was a three percent drop in independent restaurant units compared to a stable restaurant chain count, reports NPD’s Fall 2017 ReCount®, a census of commercial restaurant locations in the United States compiled in the spring and fall each year.
Restaurant chain counts grew to 301,183 units, a 982 unit increase, which kept the total chain count flat compared to fall 2016. The total number of independent restaurants declined to 346,105 units, a decrease of 10,952 units from last year. Quick service restaurants (QSR) declined by 1 percent to 353,121 units. Fast casual chains, which are a restaurant category under QSR, increased units by four percent to a total of 25,118. Full service restaurant units, which include casual dining, family dining, and fine dining restaurants, stood at 294,167 units in fall 2017, a two percent decline, according to NPD’s ReCount, which includes in its fall 2017 census all restaurants open as of September 30, 2017.