This week it was revealed that Boone ranked fourth in this year’s 2013 Restaurant Growth Index. Compiled by Nielsen, the Index is meant to screen markets for potential new restaurant establishments based on growth potential and profitability. It also uses restaurant sales, and admits that “smaller markets that are tourist destinations with high transience and heavy thru traffic tend to index high.”
That describes the Boone area, which is home to strong independent local establishments as well as some national chains. This year it jumped more than 30 slots from the 2012 Index.
Boone, North Carolina, reaches the fifth [sic - report itself says fourth] spot this year, rising from #37 in the 2012 RGI. Boone is a tourist destination, drawing 225,000 each year. It’s also home to Appalachian State University, which has seen dramatic growth in the last decade and ranks in the top 5 percent for general business growth in Nielsen’s BGI. The influx of students and tourists helped drive up its RGI score.
The report identifies 170 establishments in the area, with per capita restaurant sales of $18.8 million.