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

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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