In the wake of the pandemic, the consensus was that economic development was shifting to suburban areas, but that doesn’t seem to hold true for restaurant development + design readers.

Development efforts are fairly split between urban and suburban areas, at least according to the latest pulse survey of restaurant development + design readers. Suburban and secondary markets are the focus of development for 41% of readers while urban markets are the focus for another 40%. Just 16% said they are developing in concentric circles from their existing locations. Finally, 3% reported “other” — including the tidbit that there were not developing at all.

This is a change from 2022 when 44% of rd+d readers surveyed said that suburban sites were the current area of emphasis. Just 31% said their focus was on urban sites in 2022.

rd+d periodically surveys subscribers on the state of restaurant development and design. This survey was fielded in November 2023.