Yesterday, we used data compiled by Yelp on chain and independent restaurants to compute the market share of chains in the nation’s largest metro areas. Overall, about a quarter of all restaurants are part of a chain, but that fraction varies widely across metro areas. We think that a high market share of independent restaurants is likely a good indicator of a thriving and diverse food scene, and is a strong amenity for many metro areas.
We also noted that there’s a strong correlation between places that have more restaurants per capita and places that have a larger market share of independent restaurants. Consumers in metros with a higher share of independent restaurants have both more varied dining choices and more total dining choices, on average, that consumers living in metros with a higher share of chain restaurants.