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New Restaurant Chains Expand In Recession Despite Declining Same Store Sales

Emerging Dining Concepts Are Ignoring Economic Challenges and Opening New Stores


According to the restaurant industry report Knapp-Track, restaurant same store sales fell every month for most of 2008, and the trend isn’t expected to reverse itself in 2009. Contrary to the rest of the ]retail industry, though, restaurant chains have not responded to economic challenges with massive closings and layoffs. Rather, the number and type of retail dining chains is expanding at a surprising rate.

Small, emerging chains, in particular, are finding that vacant retail spaces and desperate landlords are creating expansion opportunities that are hard to resist. Below is a list of relatively unknown restaurant chains that have been actively working to expand since the recession officially began. The list is arranged according to the number of units that have been added to the chain since December, 2007. Each of these chains started 2008 with fewer than 100 stores.

Emerging Retail Restaurant Chains Expanding In Recession:

48   Famous Famiglia

47   NRgize Lifestyle Café

43   Red Mango

39   Which Wich

32   Dickey’s BBQ Pit

30   Pinkberry

28   ZPizza

24   Wagamama

20   Le Pain Quotidien

20   Saladworks

19   BJ’s Restaurants

18   Bigby Coffee

18   McCormick & Schmick’s

18   Paradise Bakery & Café

18   Pizza Patron

17   Mellow Mushroom

16   Shane’s Rib Shack

16   Submarina California Subs

15   Raising Cane’s

15   Wing Zone

13   La Tasca Spanish Tapas Bar & Restaurant

13   Sarpino’s Pizzeria

12   Newk’s Express Café

10   Organic To Go

10   Pizza Fusion

10   The Counter

10   Venuto’s Old World Pizza

9     California Tortilla

9     Jugo Juice

8     Andy’s Burgers Shakes & Fries

8     Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

7     Cheddar’s Casual Café

7     El Chico Mexican Cafe

7     Nature’s Table

7     Scooter’s Coffeehouse

6     Fish City Grill

6     Homemade Pizza Co.

6     Houlihan’s

6     Keg Steakhouse & Bar

6     Runza

5     Foster’s Grille

5     Greenberry’s Coffee & Tea

5     Native New Yorker

5     The Greene Turtle

5     The Rice Garden

5     Wild Wings N Things

4     Daphne’s Greek Café

4     Fatburger

3     Keva Juice
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