September 26, 2016

More Women and Minorities Now Own Restaurants, National Restaurant Association Says


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In a recent report released by the National Restaurant Association, women and minority-owned restaurant businesses have grown phenomenally between 2007 and 2012 in 48 states.

Women-owned restaurant businesses grew three times faster  than the overall restaurant industry in the 5-year period, increasing by 40 percent. During the same five-year period, the total number of restaurant businesses in the U.S. rose about 12 percent.

The state of Mississippi saw the fastest growth in women-owned restaurant business at 95 percent.  Next in line was Delaware with 86 percent growth, Nevada with 73 percent growth and Arizona  with 71 percent growth over the same period.

The states with the highest proportion of restaurant businesses owned by women are Georgia at 44 percent, Mississippi at 43 percent, Texas at 42 percent, Alabama at 41 percent, and Louisiana at 40 percent.

Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association said, “Women are playing an integral role in the growth and diversity of the restaurant industry. There are more women in restaurant management and ownership positions than virtually any other industry.”

According to National Restaurant Association research, 61 percent of adult women have worked in a restaurant at some point in their lives, and women-owned restaurant businesses are growing at a faster rate than restaurants overall.

In another report, minority-owned restaurant businesses also rose steeply in recent years. The number of Hispanic-owned restaurant businesses surged to 51 percent between 2007 and 2012, while African-American-owned restaurants shot to 49 percent. Both were above their corresponding growth rates in the overall economy. The number of Asian-owned restaurant businesses also increased 18 percent between 2007 and 2012, which was slightly below the 24 percent increase in the overall economy. As a result of the consistent growth in the economy in recent years, 4 in 10 restaurant businesses are owned by minorities.

The restaurant industry in the U.S. provides employment opportunities to people from all walks of life with very few barriers to entry. In addition to this, the industry also offers an unparalleled path to entrepreneurship. In fact, 8 in 10 restaurant owners say their first job in the restaurant industry was an entry-level position, according to research by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Female Chef Photo via Shutterstock

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Jonha Richman


Jonha Richman Jonha Richman is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends covering apps, ecommerce and new business models. She draws on her 8-year background developing digital media strategies for tech companies and consumer goods companies. She contributes to other sites including Business Insider and Fast Company. You may connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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