Arizona Among Top 10 States for Restaurant Growth

Arizona Among Top 10 States for Restaurant Growth

Arizona

Population: 6,392,017

Projected Population Gain by 2020: 17.7%

Number of Full-Service Restaurants: 3,479

Full-Service Restaurants per 100,000 Residents: 54.4

Arizona Restaurant Association: www.azrestaurant.org

Projected 2012 Growth in Restaurant Sales: 3.3%

Business Tax Index: 33.177

Unemployment: 9.0%

Median Household Income: $47,279

Bolstered by weather and tourism, Arizona’s dining landscape has been blessed with consistent year-after-year sales growth, including an $800 million jump in 2010 sales alone, says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri.

“Restaurants in this state are certainly pushing food out the door,” Chucri says.

Jeff Flancer, who owns Flancer’s in Gilbert, Arizona, identifies Arizona’s surging population numbers–the state is expected to add more than 1 million residents from 2010 to 2020–as the driving force behind the state’s 21st century restaurant growth.

New residents, Flancer says, “are looking for the same sort of great food establishments and convenient location of restaurants just like they had in their previous home states.”

Both Flancer and Chucri tout Arizona’s opportunity, especially as the state holds but 54.4 full-service restaurants per 100,000 residents, among the nation’s least-saturated states.

As an added bonus, the Arizona Restaurant Association sponsors Arizona Restaurant Week each May and September. Nearly 200 restaurants across the state participate in the multi-day event that showcases the state’s expanding restaurant landscape and promotes culinary tourism.