Archive | February, 2013

CHD Expert Reviews the Canadian Restaurant Industry Landscape And Identifies Why Toronto Is Unique

28 Feb

CHD Expert has new data indicating that independent restaurant operators are making an impact in Toronto’s foodservice market landscape. The new data reveals that 69.3 percent of restaurants in Toronto are independent restaurants (1 to 9 units), whereas only 63.4 percent of nationwide restaurants are considered independent. This release will focus on the Canadian restaurant landscape, specifically focusing on Toronto’s independent restaurant operator growth, and popular menu types.

With the 2013 Canadian Restaurant And Foodservice Association Show just a few days away, CHD Expert evaluates the Canadian foodservice market landscape, specifically focusing on the host city of Toronto, and it’s surge among independent restaurants.

When looking specifically at Toronto’s restaurant market landscape, chances are you will find a unique destination that will delight your taste buds. 65.6 percent of all restaurants in Toronto are Full Service Restaurants (FSRs), compared to the 34.4 percent of the city’s Limited Service Restaurants (LSRs). Independent restaurants have a strong presence among Toronto’s FSR segment, making up 93.4 percent of the city’s total FSR market. Toronto’s limited service market segment is made up of primarily chains, with only 23.3 percent of LSR restaurants being independent. By definition, Full Service Restaurants offer table service, whereas a Limited Service Restaurant does not have a wait staff.

When evaluating Toronto’s ‘fine dining’ menu type, approximately 7.5 percent of establishments fall into this category, which is significantly larger than the Canadian national average of 4.3 percent. This difference is similar to that of the “Coffee Shops and Tea Houses” segment, which make up 7.1 percent of Toronto’s landscape, compared to the national average of 4.5 percent. While both of these foodservice segments individually have small market shares against the field, the city of Toronto has shown that these types of restaurants play an important role in the makeup of the city’s foodservice scene.

Toronto’s landscape is distinctly different than the rest of the country. There are more European menu type restaurants in Toronto than in the rest of Canada, making up 5.3 percent of the Toronto landscape, compared to 3.2 nationwide. Data reveals that 9.6 percent of restaurants in Toronto are Asian, whereas Asian restaurants only account for 6.6 percent nationwide. One of the USA’s favorite menu type ‘hamburger,’ does not have as strong of a presence in Canada and is even less predominant is Toronto. As a nation, approximately 6.1 percent of Canadian restaurants serve a ‘hamburger’ menu type.

“Food is at the center of all great cities, and unique independent restaurants fuel the dinning out experience,” stated Brad Bloom, Director of Sales for CHD Expert North America. “As big cosmopolitan cities grow and diversify, some entrepreneurs decide to innovate with their food, and it is CHD Expert’s business to keep on top of the constantly changing market landscape. It is interesting to evaluate the foodservice landscape for such a great city like Toronto, and I am looking forward to the 2013 Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association Show.”

Restaurant Industry Net Growth In CA, TX and NY, while The Fourth Most Populous State, FL Continues To Struggle

20 Feb
By Nicolas Watson

New data available from leading foodservice database and analytics company, CHD Expert reports for the first time in three years a net increase in restaurant openings throughout the United States. This trend is consistent in California, Texas and New York, which indicates that as the economy begins to recover more people are willing to dine out.

Chicago-based foodservice database, marketing, and analytics firm, CHD Expert announces the overall US restaurant industry is beginning to recover and grow, while sharing data that focuses on the four largest states in the restaurant industry and how each states’ data compare and contrast.

According to one of CHD Expert’s latest reports, 2012 Foodservice Operator Update: A Positive Change in a Challenging Economy, 2012 has yielded a 0.3 percent positive net change in the total number of U.S. restaurant establishments in operation, which is the first time net growth has occurred in the past three years. This release focuses on the four largest states by number of restaurants, which are California, Texas, New York and Florida, which account for 12.2 percent of the total national market.

Evaluating the four most populated states, Texas had the most growth, with a 3.1 percent positive net change in number of restaurants opening over the year. Texas also had the 4th largest overall net market growth in the nation behind Connecticut (4.0 percent), Nebraska (3.2 percent), and Nevada (3.1 percent). However due to the size of Texas, the second most populous state in the nation, net restaurant growth was greater in terms of total new establishment openings. Florida on the other hand, was the only state out of the top four with a net decline, shrinking its total number of restaurants by 0.9 percent.

CHD Expert’s report also finds that the Quick Casual restaurant market segment faired well in all four states, with a positive percent increase of over 3 percent in each of the four states. Quick Casual restaurants are defined as: limited-service restaurants with an average check between $7 and $10, where the food is innovative, suited to sophisticated tastes and is prepared to order with fresh (or perceived as fresh) ingredients, with a more upscale interior than a typical fast food establishment. Examples of Quick Casual Restaurant chains include Corner Bakery, Chipotle, and Panera Bread.

New York however saw their largest growth come from the Quick Service segment with a 5.4 percent over-all net growth in the category. Quick Service is defined as: limited-service restaurant with an average check under $7 and are typically traditional “fast-food” restaurants. Examples include McDonalds, Subway and Burger King.

The market segment that had the most decline overall during 2012 was Ice Cream Parlors and Frozen Deserts. Interestingly enough, the decline is not a result of seasonality, as the decline in overall number of establishments is steady through out the year. In this segment, California had a net decline of 5.7 percent, Texas declined 2.5 percent, New York declined 3.4 percent and Florida declined 6.9 percent.

CHD Expert also reported interesting trends among the top four states’ menu type growth. Texas and New York both had significant growth among the Mexican Menu Type, with a net growth at 10 percent and 5.7 percent respectively. Also staying true to its roots, New York grew significantly in the sandwich, soups, salads, deli, and hot dog menu type with a net year over year growth of 7.4 percent. One common trend among all four states was the overall growth of the American Traditional Menu Type. American Traditional can be defined as a broad based menu, highlighting traditional American fare, like Denny’s, IHop, Ruby Tuesday, and Cracker Barrel. Alternatively, Varied menu type had significant decline in all four states.

Although many American consumers remain budget-conscious when dining out, the restaurant industry as a whole has begun to show signs of recovery. Looking at the specific market segments, the data is showing similar results across the board.

For the first time in years we are seeing a positive net change in the number of new establishments who are opening their doors for the first time,” said Catherine Kearns, General Manager of CHD Expert. “States like California and New York have always played an important role in dictating trends in America, and it is welcome news to see that they are beginning to show signs of prosperity.

To access the 2012 Foodservice Operator Update: A Positive Change in a Challenging Economy in its entirety, please contact Nicolas Watson:

Our Foodservice Trade Show Recap: #NAFEM and FSMA Top2Top

13 Feb

As we mentioned in our previous post, we are going to be attending a ton of foodservice trade shows and conferences this year.  This year, as the Director of Sales for CHD Expert, I got to attend a few great shows. Here is a short recap with photos and videos from both the #NAFEM 2013 Trade Show as well as the FSMA Top2Top 2013 Conference.

Here are a few snapshots from the NAFEM 2013 Trade Show. Just look at the amazing entrance to the conference! We were eager to check out all of the HOT and COOL foodservice products, and as we do at most shows, we like to snap a quick photo of the entrance. We also wanted to share the magnitude of this conference so we also got a few great shows of the trade show floor so you can see how MASSIVE the show actually is. The North American Association of Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers is one of our favorite shows of the year and we were happy to attend and be part of the foodservice action. Check out our photos:

Just a few days after the #NAFEM 2013 show wrapped, we attended (and are still at!) the Foodservice Sales And Marketing Association’s 19th Annual Top2Top Conference. We have really enjoyed the TEAM Meetings and learning about the state of the industry and how big foodservice companies are addressing these challenges. We’ve enjoyed hearing people like Pietro Satriano is Chief Merchandising Officer, of US Foods and Wendy Perrin,  Condé Nast Traveler’s Director of Consumer News and Digital Community. Here are a few more photos from the sunny California conference:

We hope that you have enjoyed a few our pictures from the events.  If you’d like to connect and talk more about either one of these trade shows, let’s set up some time to meet or have a call. Please email me, Brad Bloom, at I am looking forward to connecting!

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