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CHD Expert Evaluates U.S. BBQ

Published: 27 Jul 2017

Are you looking for a uniquely American culinary experience? Barbecue is a centuries-old cuisine with dozens of variations and styles – and could be a strong contender for America’s quintessential food. With barbecue being such a popular choice for Americans, CHD Expert decided to evaluate trends within the barbecue restaurant landscape across the country.

As of July 2017, CHD Expert’s database has data and restaurant information for more than 15,200 barbecue restaurants across the USA. Barbecue restaurants also account for just over 2 percent of the total US restaurant landscape.

Breaking down the barbecue restaurant landscape into Full Service Restaurants (FSRs) and Limited Service Restaurants (LSRs) in terms of number of units, CHD Expert’s data reveals that Independent restaurants dominate both categories: 86 percent of barbecue LSRs are classified as Independent while 88 percent of FSRs are Independent. (CHD Expert defines an Independent restaurant as one having less than 10 units in operation nationwide.)

With its roots in the South, it’s no surprise that many of the state states with the largest share of barbecue restaurants reside below the Mason Dixon Line. The top five states with the largest shares of barbecue restaurants include Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Hawaii, and chains make up 13 percent of the total barbecue restaurant landscape. The most prevalent barbecue chain restaurants in the U.S. include Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Famous Dave’s, L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ, and Bill Miller Bar B Q.

Want more details on the barbecue restaurant landscape in the USA?

CHD Expert evaluated the most recent data within its foodservice database and packaged the most interesting facts and figures into an infographic designed to help foodservice industry professionals better understand the popularity of barbecue restaurants in the United States.

To access the 2017 Barbecue Restaurant Landscape Infographic in its entirety, please visit:

To obtain detailed information on the foodservice industry landscape anywhere in the United States, or foodservice data in general, please contact

Data Ingredients. Growth Served. For over 20 years, CHD Expert has collected, analyzed, and managed foodservice and hospitality data to help businesses win in this fragmented and fast-moving industry. Our comprehensive and segmented data allows us to adapt our local and global insights to our clients’ objectives. From ideas to execution, we deliver actionable solutions that drive business growth. To learn more, please visit

CHD Expert The Americas
130 S. Jefferson St., Suite 250
Chicago, IL, 60661 USA

Phone: (312) 768-6900