The Restaurant Growth Index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas, from the best prospects on down, based on statistical predictions of a restaurant's success. The RGI score is calculated on an area's total restaurant sales and sales as a percent of income, at a per-capita level, compared to the nation as a whole. The exact formula is:
(Restaurant sales per capita in the market/Restaurant sales per capita in the U.S.) x (Restaurant sales per capita as a percent of income per capita in the market/Restaurant sales per capita as a percent of income per capita in the U.S.) x 100 = RGI.
The national average is 100. Higher scores indicate better prospects; scores below 100 indicate poorer opportunities than average.
[Note: Since last year's study, the Census Bureau redefined the Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Some are unchanged; others were broken into multiple MSAs. The RGI now has more and smaller markets.]