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

    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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