Archive | September, 2012

The Restaurant Industry Begins to Rebound as Establishments Continue to Open throughout the U.S.

25 Sep

According to leading food service marketing and analytics company CHD Expert, there is a market increase of more than 9,400 restaurants around the U.S. in the first half of 2012. The restaurant sector is beginning to see some economic recovery as consumer confidence and spending increases.

Chicago-based foodservice database, marketing, and analytics firm, CHD Expert reports that the number of restaurants has increased nationwide in 2012, according to CHD Expert’s 2012 Year-To-Date Net Market Changes Report.

According to this report, the following ten states saw the largest percentage of positive net change in the restaurant industry, from January to June 2012: West Virginia, New York, Connecticut, California, Texas, Arkansas, Nebraska, Utah, Kansas, and North Dakota. West Virginia and New York took the lead, at 3.6 percent and 2.6 percent positive net change respectively, while Kansas and North Dakota rounded out the top ten, both at 1.2 percent net change. See Figure 1 “Net Change – States with Positive Change (Top 10)”.

Restaurants with menus catering to traditional American fare, Mexican, and bar and grill menus showed the largest increases, while fine dining and upscale establishment growth remained flat throughout the first half of 2012. However, while fine dining and upscale restaurants didn’t show growth in numbers, this flat growth is encouraging compared to the past few years of decline in this segment. See Figure 2 “Percent Changes by Menu Type”.

The fast casual market also continues to grow at a steady rate, as consumers have upgraded from quick service restaurants. These time-crunched consumers are still looking for a fast food alternative, but with a more up-scale twist, diverse menu selection and perceived healthier food options. As the United States becomes more health conscious overall, consumers are seeking food establishments with better quality products, in addition to improved service, and a comfortable, accommodating atmosphere in which to dine.

While money has been one of the top concerns for consumers since the economic downturn, and still is for many of them, the overall foodservice market landscape is beginning to recover and show signs of small, incremental growth as shown in this report. This indicates that consumers are starting to have more confidence in the economy as they are beginning to dine out and spend money more frequently after long periods of stagnation. “As we move through the last quarter of 2012 and into the beginning of 2013, we believe we will continue to see improvements as more establishments expand their menu offerings as well as open more locations throughout the U.S,” stated Catherine Kearns, General Manager of CHD Expert.

About CHD Expert

CHD Expert is the worldwide leader in collecting, managing, and analyzing data for the Away-from-Home Global Foodservice Market. For more than 10 years, CHD Expert has been dedicated to support Foodservice channel members in providing a global vision and an in-depth understanding of the industry (in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific).

Our objective is to support our clients in their sales and marketing strategies by providing the most comprehensive and accurate foodservice census housing market information for more than 4 million operators worldwide. For more information or learn about all of our products available, please visit

Foodservice tradeshows in Florida

19 Sep

Autumn is now falling on Chicago, but a few fortunate members of our team are following the warm weather south, as September has some great foodservice tradeshows in Florida.  Loyal readers of our blog know that we look to attend at least one foodservice tradeshow a quarter, and sometimes we even go to one a month.

Well fortunately for us it looks like this month we are going to be killing two birds with one stone, as there are two awesome foodservice tradeshows taking place simultaneously in Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.

Next week, from September 22-24 the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show takes place and as an added bonus this year’s show also includes PQM’s Orlando Pizza Show. And as we all know, everything is better with pizza!

We are also proud to announce that our friend Matthew Mandeltort, of our partner firm Technomic will be hosting a session titled “Trends in the Industry” on September 23rd at 11:30 AM.  He will be giving an overview on the “State of the Industry” and evaluate what trends Technomic has been seeing and what your business can expect from a foodservice industry trends perspective.

And while business is always the priority at any tradeshow, we also look forward to the fun events and goodies that come with attending a foodservice event.

This year PQM Pizza Magazine will host the 6th Annual U.S. Pizza Team Trials and the American Pizza Championship at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show.  Dough tossers from around the nation will be competing for a chance to represent the USA and compete in the World Pizza Championship in Italy in April of 2013.

These are just two events of many that we are looking forward to attending, but you can count on seeing us all around the tradeshow floor. If you are planning on attending the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show, shoot us an email and we can set up a time to meet . And if you can’t make it this year, but are still interested in our foodservice marketing tools, call our office and a sales person will be glad to help you out 1-888-243-0154.

Hope to see you in Florida!

Food Genius Partners with CHD Expert To Better Understand Restaurant Trends

12 Sep

We are really excited to announce a new partnership with Food Genius. Here is the news about our new partnership with Food Genius and information about their newsworthy achievements.

Food Genius, which provides data-based restaurant insights to the food industry, has raised $1.2 million in venture capital. Chicago’s Hyde Park Venture Partners and Hyde Park Angels led the round; other investors include New World Ventures, IDEO, Amicus Capital, and the I2A Fund.
“With this funding, Food Genius is expanding the team in order to bring Food Genius Reports to market,” says founder & CEO Justin Massa. “Food Genius Reports is a leap forward for the food industry, providing intuitive and deep access to restaurant trends as they develop new products and craft marketing strategies.”

“Food Genius is direct evidence that Chicago has truly become a place where ideas evolve into viable businesses, creating jobs and economic growth in the City,” said Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Entities like 1871 and Excelerate Labs play crucial roles in the development of these young companies, and I am pleased to see an environment developing that supports entrepreneurship and business expansion. I look forward to many more small businesses developing out of these facilities and programs and fueling Chicago’s economy in the coming years.”

“The food and restaurant industry is ripe for data disruption, and Food Genius offers astounding insights in this market where the consumers’ voice has been opaque,” says Guy Turner, managing director at Hyde Park Venture Partners. “We are excited to see them grow.”

The company is also announcing that Owen Shapiro of Leo J Shapiro & Associates and Hyde Park Angels as well as Brian Distelburger of Yext have joined Food Genius’ board of directors. Shapiro notes, “Food Genius brings a powerful combination of talent and tools to address the pressing need for better real time information on food sold through restaurants. Starting with a firm grasp of ‘big data’ techniques and building with a unique set of data sources and tools, Food Genius is quickly positioning itself to be a primary source for insights that can drive innovation and profitability for foodservice and CPG companies that depend on restaurants directly for sales and insights into emerging trends.” According to Distelburger, “As the breadth, depth, and quality of local business data grows, there is an enormous opportunity to build new business intelligence services on top – Food Genius is leading this charge in the food vertical.”

Data Partnerships
In separate, key developments for the company, Food Genius is announcing data partnerships with CHD Expert and GrubHub.

A core element of Food Genius’ approach is to acquire, normalize, and extend massive amounts of menu item-level restaurant data. Food Genius is partnering with GrubHub, which will be the primary source of menu data. “GrubHub has the most comprehensive and highest quality database of restaurant menus,” says Massa. “We’re incredibly excited to work with not only the best data set around but also a company that regularly brings us lunch and dinner.”

Food Genius is also partnering with CHD Expert, a leading provider of data for foodservice sales and marketing strategies, to pair deep menu-level data points with detailed operator information. This new level of detail will provide foodservice sales teams with unparalleled insight into how specific locations use ingredients and preparation techniques. To see this Press Release on our website, click here.

About Food Genius
Food Genius is big data for the food industry. By tracking more than 16.3 million restaurant menu items and how consumers interact with them, Food Genius leverages the social web to generate high quality and incredibly granular data for an array of commercial and consumer uses. They provide manufacturers, distributors, operators, and CPG brands with actionable data on consumer behavior and restaurant trends. Their signature product Food Genius Reports, a robust restaurant trends dashboard for the food industry, will launch in early winter 2013.

Food Genius is a graduate of Excelerate Labs (class of ‘11), was the first-ever Startup-in-Residence at IDEO’s Chicago studio, and was the first graduate of 1871. For more information, visit

About Hyde Park Angels
Hyde Park Angels (HPA) is an organization that provides a forum for entrepreneurial-minded members to invest in seed and early stage businesses, primarily located in the Midwest. HPA is a group of current and former executives, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists who are interested in investing their time and money into outstanding startups. HPA also provides domain expertise, strategic advice and coaching to its companies. The Chicago-based Hyde Park Angel Network was founded in 2006 by a group of classmates from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Executive MBA Program. For more information, visit

About Hyde Park Venture Partners
Hyde Park Venture Partners (HPVP) is a venture capital fund investing in early stage technology companies in the Midwest, with particular focus in Chicago. HPVP invests in technology-enabled business and consumer services and healthcare IT companies raising their first or second round of institutional capital. HPVP draws on its strategic relationship with Hyde Park Angels (HPA) to provide industry and business expertise to its portfolio companies through a network of more than 90 seasoned business executives, entrepreneurs and service professionals. HPVP’s principals and the HPA network take an active role in mentoring and guiding portfolio companies in product development, business strategy, financing and exit through both formal director roles and informal mentorship relationships.
For more information, visit

Foodservice Business and Industry Trends

10 Sep

Would you agree that when a business provides it’s employees with free food they will be more productive?

Let’s take a look at one big company who has free gourmet breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and more for its employees. Drum roll please… Google.

One of the big perks of working at Google, besides working for one of the worlds most famous Internet companies, is the awesome culinary and food benefits. What some call the “Google 15,” other’s call one of the best company perks ever with fresh, local, sustainable and organic food available to employees and guests for FREE every day. That’s right, Google gives anyone who comes through their office free food in an awesome cafeteria.

At CHD Expert, we offer data around the Foodservice Business and Industry segment, so in this example, a company who has an onsite cafeteria that feeds its employees like Google.

Our business & industry segment can be defined as employee feeding in offices, factories, and plants. To a large extent this service is handled by contract feeding companies such as: Aramark, Compass, Sodexo, etc.

Therefore, this type of information might be helpful to you or your business if you are in the foodservice industry. For example, let’s say that you are the marketing manager for a new beverage or packaged snack item that you want to get into offices. We have the data that can help you get your product into these facilities, as we have data on more than 1,600 operators in the US alone.

Via CHD FIND (foodservice industry database), we can provide you details such as:

  • Contact Details
  • # Employees
  • Managed/Self Op
  • Management Company
  • Number of Meals per Day

Now remember, Google is only one business who provides their employees with free food. But, let’s face it, there are lots of companies out there who are doing the same thing.

Interested to hear more? Contact Nico Watson at

Restaurant Data: How Customer Reviews on Are Making An Impact

6 Sep

Restaurant data is one of our passions and when we came across the Harvard Business Review article titled, “Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue: The Case of” written by Michael Luca, we got really excited. This article goes into detail about how reviews are impacting restaurants.

It’s a pretty long article, so we’ve put together a summary of the key data points that we found fascinating:

“1. A one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue.
2. This effect is driven by independent restaurants; ratings do not affect restaurants with chain affiliation.
3. Chain restaurants have declined in revenue share as Yelp penetration has increased.
4. Consistent with standard learning models, consumer response is larger when ratings contain more information.
5. However, consumers also react more strongly to information that is more visible, suggesting that the way information is presented matters.”

Click here for the full article:

About CHD Expert:
CHD Expert is the worldwide leader in collecting, managing and analyzing data for the Away-from-Home Global Foodservice Market. For more than 10 years CHD Expert has been dedicated to support Foodservice channel members in providing a global vision and an in-depth understanding of the industry (in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific).

Our objective is to support food service providers in their sales and marketing strategies by providing the most comprehensive and accurate foodservice census, housing operator intelligence for more than 4 million operators worldwide.

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