The Growth 40

A Closer Look: The following data is from American Express Business Insights. According to the company's experts, each quick serve will watch different factors to decide whether expansion into an area is right. But negative numbers don't always tell the full story. For example, if a city posts a declining transaction size but its number of real transactions is up, it may be a good place for operators to expand, if their concepts rely on high traffic and low ticket averages.

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RankingMetropolitan AreaPopulation Change (2000-10)Change in Spend (2000-10)Change in # Transactions (2000-10)sort ascendingChange in Avg. Transaction Size (2000-10)Score
28Houston, TX1,231,39315%14%1%96
22Nashville, TN278,14516%15%1%89
40Kansas City, MO-KS199,29614%15%-1%130
23Richmond, VA161,29417%15%2%90
26Birmingham, AL75,80918%16%2%91
19San Antonio, TX430,80516%16%0%84
35Atlanta, GA1,020,87914%16%-2%117
38Virginia Beach, VA95,31314%16%-1%129
5Austin, TX466,52619%16%3%54
17Cleveland, OH-70,90323%17%5%83
36St. Louis, MO114,20916%17%-1%118
30Rochester, NY16,49219%17%1%96
20Salt Lake City, UT155,33917%17%0%84
10Denver, CO364,24219%17%2%62
32Chicago, IL362,78916%18%-1%107
7Washington, DC785,98719%18%1%56
25Jacksonville, FL222,84616%18%-2%91
33Columbus, OH223,84215%18%-3%114
34Memphis, TN110,89615%18%-2%116
39New Orleans, LA-148,74616%18%-2%129
4Riverside, CA970,03019%18%1%45
6Las Vegas, NV575,50418%18%0%55
27San Diego, CA281,48016%18%-1%95
21Raleigh, NC333,41915%18%-2%87
13Sacramento, CA352,27018%18%0%67
14San Jose, CA101,09219%19%0%75
16Los Angeles, CA463,21019%19%0%82
3Portland, OR298,12828%19%7%38
1Orlando, FL489,85023%20%2%28
29Charlotte, NC427,59015%20%-4%96
12San Francisco, CA211,65122%21%1%63
8Miami, FL557,07122%21%0%57
24Pittsburgh, PA-74,80220%21%-1%91
15Detroit, MI-156,30722%22%0%80
18Baltimore, MD157,49520%22%-2%84
37Providence, RI17,85516%23%-5%124
11Boston, MA161,05823%23%0%63
31New York, NY574,10719%24%-4%105
9Minneapolis, MN311,02725%26%-1%57
2Seattle, WA395,93134%28%5%29

Methodology: The Growth 40 cities are ranked based on a cumulative score. That cumulative score is made up of population rank, spending rank, number of transactions rank, and average transaction size rank. Population data is based on the 2010 U.S. Census. Spending, number of transactions, and average transaction size data were provided by American Express Business Insights. Ties in the cumulative scores were decided based on raw population data, with the larger metro ranking higher.

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