Restaurantology Blog

Multi-unit growth summary – January 2022 Recap

January 31, 2022 | Industry News Monthly Growth Summary | by Grant Gadoci

This is part one in a series. Future summary posts will be added at the end of each month.

Month over month growth in the restaurant industry should be celebrated. And that’s just what we’re here to do.

In 2022, Restaurantology is committed to tracking detectable growth in the multi-unit foodservice space for well over 15k concepts we actively monitor each month. We plan to document and provide these summaries in the hopes that they help keep focus on an industry that tends to shake things up, and quickly.

First, the data…

Summary of December 2021 to January 2022 unit growth

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Note: Numbers in green confirm a second continued month of detectable unit growth.

What can we learn, or at least infer, from this data?

There are a few key takeaways from this MoM insight analysis:

  1. Limited Service restaurants, which include Fast Casual brands, continue to outpace Full Service restaurants 3:1 in terms of multi-unit growth.
  2. Many beverage-focused QSR brands — that is, ones who offer coffee ☕, bubble tea 🥤, juices & smoothies 🧃, etc. — seem to see persistent month-over-month growth.
  3. Full Service unit growth includes many Brunch-style brands 🍳. This seems to be part of a larger trend of concepts persistently growing in this space (think First Watch, Snooze an A.M. Eatery, etc.)

Notes about our automated unit growth insights

Each month, Restaurantology visits over 15 thousand multi-unit restaurant websites to verify a variety of public data points that we can extract, analyze, and turn into valuable insights. We use proprietary technology intended to capture data at its source, meaning wherever possible we’re allowing restaurant companies and brands to tell us how many units they have (such as on a locations page), as well as what technologies they’ve integrated into their website (POS, loyalty, reservations, etc.).

When counting units, there are a variety of factors we’re looking for:

  • A new store has opened and has been added to their website
  • A new store has been listed as “Coming Soon”
  • A previously opened store, perhaps temporarily closed, has re-opened

There are also a variety of reasons for which a number might be flagged in our database for manual review before being approved as an update to our insights, such as:

  • The MoM % change is irregular. It’s not every day you see a 2-unit chain jump to 10
  • The data is inconclusive or potentially unreliable
  • The website has changed significantly since the previous visit and requires review


We hope these insights are helpful. Our goal remains to continue specializing in restaurant data capture, and to provide meaningful tools that have a real impact on how individuals and companies do business. We want to transform how people approach the foodservice industry.

Lastly, and somewhat selfishly… if this is helpful, tell us. If someone you know could benefit from this data, share it.