CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Denver is on a Rocky Mountain high, with a winning quarterback, a growing population, and a thriving arts and culture scene. Now the Colorado metropolis has another reason to brag: The city is the best destination for fast-food restaurant operators.
According to QSR magazine's third-annual Growth 40 report, Denver is the No. 1 large market in the U.S. for quick-service restaurant growth potential.
"Denver has a lot of things going for it: population growth, a thriving business climate, and a popular food and beverage scene," says Sam Oches, editor of QSR. "And between 2011 and 2016, the city's quick-service traffic is expected to increase 11 percent. These and other factors will contribute to it being a popular destination for limited-service brands."
The Growth 40 is the result of a partnership between QSR and NPD Group, a leading source for foodservice trends and performance indicators. The report found the top 15 large markets (more than 2.5 million residents), 15 medium markets (1-2.5 million residents), and 10 small markets (less than 1 million residents) for growth potential.
Waco, Texas, is the top medium market, while Yuma, Arizona, is No. 1 among small markets. But Denver, with its size and potential, offers the best opportunity for restaurant operators looking to grow in a new city.
"The entrepreneurial spirit and business climate in Denver go a long way in making the city an attractive target for quick-service operators," Oches says. "Major restaurant companies, including Chipotle, Red Robin, and Smashburger, are based there, giving Denver a deep foodservice talent pool to draw from. So it should certainly be in the plans for any growing quick-service brand."