For the fourth consecutive year, the Growth 40 leveraged data from market research firm The NPD Group to predict the top large, medium, and small U.S. markets for quick-service restaurant expansion. Rankings this year leverage a proprietary NPD Score, which measures market opportunity by balancing quick-service restaurant density in a market and the difference between traffic growth and population growth. Using this methodology, some familiar large cities—Minneapolis, Miami, and Washington, D.C., for example—landed in the top tier, while many medium- and small-sized markets surprised. And one year after Southern cities comprised have of the Growth 40 list, the result is not much different in 2016; 19 cities this year call the South home.
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|Designated Market Areas (DMA)||Census Division||Score||QSR TRAFFIC GROWTH FORECAST 2015-2020||QSR Units||Unit Density (Units per 100k population)||2015 Population||Projected 2020 Population||Population Percent Change|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN||Large||20||9%||4,237||87.5||0||0||4%|
|Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Large||16||8%||4,316||87.7||0||0||7%|
|Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL||Large||13||12%||3,975||93.0||0||0||8%|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, FL||Large||11||6%||4,398||90.1||0||0||7%|
|Salt Lake City, UT||Large||9||6%||3,106||91.6||0||0||8%|