Bubble bursts for independent restaurants

January 18, 2017

For months, industry watchers have been warning about a restaurant bubble about to burst.

It’s a recurring theme that arises whenever a restaurant closes or a chain files bankruptcy. Bubble believers say there are just too many restaurants and not enough people eating out.

“The market is saturated,” said Bonnie Riggs, foodservice industry analyst for research firm The NPD Group, which does twice yearly restaurant counts. “We have more seats than bodies to fill them.”

But for the independent restaurant segment in particular, the bubble has popped, Riggs said. The inevitable correction is clearly taking place, with restaurant counts in