Taste the Fire Monkey: CHD Expert Evaluates the Asian Restaurant Menu Type Across the United States.

February 25, 2016 in Restaurants by cipcipTrip

As the Chinese New Year is upon us, many Americans celebrate the holiday by visiting or ordering in from one of the nations 26,000+ Chinese restaurants. And while 2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey, Chinese food and Asian food in general has been transformed from a small, specialized market into some of the most in-demand menu types in the United States. To celebrate the Chinese New Year, CHD Expert, the Chicago-based foodservice database and analytics firm, evaluated recent trends in the Asian restaurant landscape across the United States.

As of January 2016, there are more than 63,500 Asian restaurants in the United States and the Asian Menu Type represents approximately 9 percent of all restaurants in the US. A variety of sub-menu categories make up the overall Asian restaurant landscape, including Chinese, Japanese, Sushi, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian / Pakistani / Bangladeshi / Sri Lankan, Other Asian.

The Chinese menu type is by far the most prevalent, making up 42 percent of the Asian restaurant landscape, but Sushi has become more common and mainstream in recent years. The Sushi menu type has grown by approximately 10 percent in the past 3 years, with currently more than 6,000 Sushi restaurants in operation nation wide. This is up from under 5,500 in January of 2013.

When broken down by segment, 84 percent of Asian restaurants are Full Service Restaurants and 16 percent are Limited Service Restaurants. Limited Service Restaurants (LSR) are defined as establishments where food is purchased at a counter. Full Service Restaurants (FSR) offer table service and operate with a wait staff.

According to CHD Expert’s data, 89 percent of FSRs are Independent, whereas 16 percent of LSRs are Independent, highly populated by chain operations. CHD Expert classifies an independent restaurant as a restaurant brand that has less than nine units in operation.

According to Technomic Inc., Panda Express is the largest Asian Restaurant chain with more than 1,700 units in operation, making up 33 percent of the Asian restaurant chain landscape in regards to number of units. The other most prevalent Asian menu type chains in are Sarku Japan (250+ units), P.F. Chang’s China Bistro (200+ units), and Pei Wei Asian Diner (200+ units). As a whole, the Asian menu type generates approximately $26 billion in annual retail sales, averaging approximately $415,000 per unit. When looking at the chain operations only, data from Technomic indicates that average annual revenue per unit is over $1 million, and together Asian Restaurant Chains generate approximately $6.5 billion in annual revenue.

“Restaurants that serve Asian food have become ubiquitous across the USA, and this is certainly a newer phenomenon,” said Catherine Kearns, General Manager of CHD Expert The Americas. “Many Millennials and GenZers have grown up eating Sushi, Ramen, Korean BBQ, and other Asian favorites; but for GenXers and Baby Boomers that was not likely the case. The expansion of the Asian menu type has opened up countless opportunities for foodservice industry suppliers, from food and equipment to wares and disposables, and understanding who and where these operators are, is vital to sustain growth in the foodservice industry.”

CHD Expert evaluated the most recent data within its foodservice database and packaged the most interesting facts and figures into an infographic designed to help foodservice industry professionals better understand the Asian restaurant landscape in the United States.

To access the 2016 Asian Restaurant Infographic in its entirety, please visit: http://info.chd-expert.com/asian-menu-types-infographic-2016

To obtain detailed information on Asian restaurants, or foodservice data in general, please visit www.chd-expert.com