The Twin Cities loves fast food, study finds

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Apparently, we're fit, but also like burgers and shakes as much as anyone.
We may be fit, but apparently Twin Citians also love fast food.

According to a study by QSR (for quick-service restaurant) Magazine, from 2000 through 2010, the Twin Cities had the third-largest increase in fast-food spending of any metropolis over 1 million in population.

That, combined with the fact that the Twin Cities also had the second-largest increase in the raw number of fast-food transactions, led QSR to conclude that the Twin Cities is the ninth hottest market for quick-service restaurant growth in the country.

QSR's rankings are based on population growth, change in the overall number of transactions and transaction size, and the total increase in fast-food spending. According to QSR, the hottest fast-food growth market is Orlando. Seattle, Portland, Riverside, and Austin round out the top five.

Interestingly, the average amount spent per fast-food transaction in the Twin Cities actually decreased by 1 percent during the decade QSR scrutinized. But the total number of transactions increased by 26 percent, indicating that consumers were thinking outside the bun with more fourth-meal trips while spending less per-transaction.

At least one prominent national fast-food chain plans to act on QSR's advice and enter the Twin Cities market. Georgia-based Chick-fil-A is reportedly planning to enter the Twin Cities market in earnest next year. Currently, the chain's tender chicken breasts are only available at locations on-campus at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State University-Mankato.

The Minneapois/St. Paul Business Journal reports that the Chick-fil-A market entry would be the Twin Cities' largest since Sonic debuted here four years ago. Other notable recent quick-service entries into the local market include Panda Express in 2010, Five Guys Burgers and Fries in '09 and Little Caesars in '06.

Talk about a metro area of contrasts. We're the most fit, but also some of the nation's foremost fast-food connoisseurs? Perhaps Twin Citians simply order a lot of salads at McDonald's. Either that, or we burn off all those dollar-menu calories by working out like Olympic athletes in training. 


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