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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.

    Click row headers to re-sort the chart.

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

    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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