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

    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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