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.

Click row headers to re-sort the chart.

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

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.

Return to the story.