US Food Halls

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US Restaurant Spend

Based on data from Statista, the average amount that an American spends on restaurant food each year is $3,264. Much of the data available on this topic is reported as "food away from home, which" simply means restaurants. Also, much of the data available on this topic was provided at the per-household level, which we included because a household can include just one person.

Overall Restaurant Spend, Including By Age

  • On average, an individual in the U.S. spends $3,264 on restaurant food each year.
  • In 2018, the following were the average amounts that an American in the respective age brackets spent on "food away from home" (restaurants): Under 25 ($2,336 per person); 25-34 ($3,450 per person); 35-44 ($4,395 per person); 45-54 ($4,397 per person); 55-64 ($3,268 per person); 65-74 ($3,046 per person); and 75+ ($1,953 per person).
  • The average of the aforementioned values is $3,264 (rounded to the nearest whole number, which we calculated by adding the amounts for each of the previously mentioned age groups and then dividing that sum by seven (the number of age groups)). Thus, $3,264 is the average amount an American spends on restaurant food per year.
  • We also included a screenshot of that data graph from Statista in this Google Doc.
  • In further support of the accuracy of that Statista data, a similar average restaurant spend was provided in a 2018 article stating that "Americans spend an average of $2,443 a year on restaurant meals and takeout food." The reason we based our average off of the Statista data, and not from that article, is because the Statista data was more robust and included multiple data points.
  • The average American spends "$1,175 on take-out meals every year."
  • When they dine out, the average American spends $36.40 per meal, irrespective of restaurant type.

Restaurant Spend By Region

  • The average "food away from home" (restaurant) spend by U.S. region was pretty much even, as the data below demonstrates.
  • In the West region of the U.S., $3,975 was the average spend per household (which can include just one person).
  • In the Midwest region, $3,255 was the average spend per household.
  • In the South region, $3,224 was the average spend per household.
  • In the East region of the U.S., $3,557 was the average spend per household.

Restaurant Spend By Restaurant Type

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Commute Time

Several reputable studies and sources have been retrieved in order to find the requested information. Of those, The National Household Travel Survey has proven to be a valuable resource for information regarding U.S. driving behavior. It is compiled by the Federal Highway Administration, which is the authoritative resource for information about U.S. personal travel behavior. A variety of statistics are included below, but on average Americans drive around 11 minutes for shopping and errands and approximately 14 minutes for social and recreation activities (to include eating meals, meeting friends, or going to the gym).

General U.S. Driving Behavior

  • According to a 2018 Gallup poll of Americans, 83% of adults in the United States drive at least a few times per week, with 64% of those driving every day.
  • The average driver spends approximately an hour a day behind the wheel and drives around 30 miles a day. According to a survey carried out by AAA, time spent driving per day has been increasing.
  • Drivers in the western part of the United States drive the most, at an average of 58.9 minutes per day compared to 51.1 minutes in the northeast, 49.9 minutes in the south, and 44.5 minutes in the Midwest.
  • Of those who drive every day, 87% use their personal vehicle to drive.
  • Bracketed by age group, the percentage of those who drive daily are as follows: 62% of those between the ages of 18-29, 76% of those between the ages of 30-49, 68% of those between the ages of 50-64, and 45% of Americans who are older than 65.
  • When divided by household income, of those with less than $36,000 per year only 46% drive daily, of those with a household income between $36,000 and $90,000 per year 68% drive daily, and a whopping 82% of those with a household income above $90,000 drive every day.
  • U.S. drivers' enjoyment of driving is split with 34% enjoying it a lot, 44% enjoying it moderately, and 22% not enjoying it at all. Men who drive frequently enjoy it more than women who drive frequently with 41% stating they enjoy it a lot compared to only 27% of women.

Time Spent Commuting for Shopping and Errands

  • According to the National Household Travel Survey, 19.5% of daily trips are taken for shopping and errands.
  • In a 2017 study completed by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation, the average trip length to go shopping was 7.1 miles. By our calculations (as explained below in the research strategy), this means that Americans drive an average of 11.5 minutes to shop.
  • In the same study, other family and personal errands reached an average of 6.8 miles. Our calculations reveal that people drive an average of 11 minutes to reach other personal errand destinations.

Time Spent Commuting for Social and Recreational Trips

  • According to the National Household Travel Survey, 8.4% of daily trips are for social and recreational purposes and 6.7% of trips are for meals.
  • The 2017 statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation show that the average trip length for social and recreational activity was 8.7 miles. By our calculations, Americans drive an average of 14 minutes to reach social and recreational activities.

Research Strategy

Our research yielded detailed statistics from which the requested information was able to be extracted. The information provided above is as recent as 2018. Detailed studies about driving behavior and time spent driving have been completed and made available only through 2017. After completing a general search, as well as searching government statistics databases alongside reputable survey and statistics organizations, we determined that more recent information regarding time spent driving is not publicly available.

Though time spent driving is available information, this has not been broken down into time spent per trip purpose and has required a calculation. This calculation has been achieved by determining the average time it takes to drive a mile in the United States. The AAA driving survey found that the average time spent in a car daily is 51 minutes and the average miles driven are 31.5 per day, thus 51 minutes divided by 31.5 miles equals 1.62 minutes per mile—roughly a minute and a half.
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Household Expenditures: Denver

According to the most recent data on consumer expenditure published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average household expenditures for residents of Denver as of 2017/2018 was $73,670. Housing, transportation, and food respectively accounted for 34.2%, 15.2%, and 12.4% of the average household expenditures in the Denver metropolitan area.

The Average Annual Household Expenditures in Denver Metropolitan

  • The average household expenditures as of 2017/2018 for residents of Denver was $73,670.
  • Housing, transportation, and food respectively accounted for 34.2%, 15.2%, and 12.4% of the average household expenditures in the Denver metropolitan area.

The Average Annual Household Expenditures in Denver Metropolitan Breakdown

1. Housing

  • Housing accounted for the largest share of the average annual household expenditures in the Denver metropolitan area, $25,164 (34.2%).
  • Analysis of the housing expenditures is outlined below:
    • The total spends on shelter was $15,149.
    • $7,907 was expended on owned dwellings.
    • Spend on rented dwellings was $6,251.
    • Expenditures on utilities, fuels, and public services was $4,126.
    • $2,822 was spent on household furnishings and equipment.
    • Household operations cost was $2,001.
    • Spend on housekeeping supplies was $1,065.
    • Expenditure on other lodging was $960 .

2. Transportation

  • On average, $11,218 (15.2%) was spent on transportation, and vehicle purchases accounted for $4,591, while other vehicle expenses accounted for $3,420.
  • Spend on gasoline, other fuels, and motor oil was $2,026.
  • Expenditure on public and other forms of transportation was $1,181.

3. Food

  • Expenditure on food accounted for 12.4% ($9,106) of the average annual household expenditures.
  • A breakdown of spend on food is outlined below:
    • Spend on food at home was $5,256.
    • $3,850 was spent on food away from home.
    • $1,737 was expended on other food at home.
    • Spend on meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was $1,237.
    • Expenditure on fruits and vegetables was $1,184.
    • $606 was spent on cereals and bakery products.
    • Spend on dairy products was $492.

4. Personal insurance and pensions

  • $8,463 was spent on personal insurance and pension.
  • Pensions and social security accounted for $8,146, while life and other personal insurance accounted for $317.

5. Healthcare

  • On the average, a total of $5,820 was expended on healthcare by household in Denver metropolitan area.

6. Entertainment

  • The average spend on entertainment by household in Denver metropolitan area as of 2017/2018 was $4,431.

7. Apparel and services

  • An average of $2,359 was expended on apparel and services by households, as of 2017/2018.

8. Cash contributions

  • $1,99 was spent on cash contributions.

9. Education

  • Spend of education was $1,461 as of 2017/2018.

10. Personal care products and services

  • In 2017/2018, $1,318 was spent on personal care products and services by households in Denver.

11. Tobacco products and smoking supplies

  • Expenditure on tobacco products and smoking supplies was $294 as of 2017/2018.

12. Reading

  • An average of $129 was spent on reading by households in Denver, in 2017/2018.

13. Miscellaneous

  • The average spend on miscellaneous by households in Denver as of 2017/2018 was $1,144.

Research Strategy

Your research team provided the requested information regarding Denver, Colorado, leveraging publicly available data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), US Census Bureau and Denver City databases. Limited information on Denver, specifically, informed our decision to provide information on the Denver metropolitan area, which was directly available in the sources consulted.

The most recent information on the average household expenditures in Denver was published in the last quarter of the previous year. Hence, information on the average household expenditures in Denver for 2019 is yet to be published.

All figures represent average, annual expenditure per household in the Denver Metropolitan area, as stated throughout the survey period of 2017-2018.
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Denver Traffic

Overall, Denver tends to rank around the top 20 in terms of U.S. cities with the most traffic congestion. Traffic congestion in Denver is projected to become markedly worse in the coming years. Below, we grouped our findings by research study that we cited to, followed by a few additional data points we found from various sources that were closely related to this topic.

Data from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute

  • Texas A&M Transportation Institute's "2019 Urban Mobility Report was based off hundreds of speed data points for every 15 minutes of the average day for almost every mile of major road in urban America."
  • The study found that the average driver in the Denver metropolitan area spends "61 hours each year in traffic delays."
  • That 61-hour average ranks Denver 20th among U.S. cities in terms of the longest, average delay.
  • For reference, the city with the largest, average, annual traffic delay per driver is L.A. at 119 hours and the city with the tenth-largest delay is Dallas at 67 hours.
  • Traffic congestion in Denver requires that a driver fill-up with an extra 25 gallons of fuel each year. That excess amount of fuel required ranks Denver 20th among U.S. cities with regard to such.
  • Denver's traffic congestion results in an average cost for each driver of $1,060 resulting from time lost. That lost-time cost ranks Denver 23rd among U.S. cities.

Data From INRIX

  • INRIX's "2018 Global Traffic Scorecard" ranked Denver as the 19th "most-congested cit[y] in the" U.S.
  • In 2018, "[t]he average driver [in Denver] traveling during peak commute times lost a cumulative 83 hours to congestion."
  • The aforementioned amount of lost time marked a three percent increase for Denver compared to 2017.
  • For reference, 97 hours was the U.S. average for the amount of time lost due to traffic congestion for a "driver traveling during peak commute times", while Boston topped the list at 164 hours and Baltimore ranked 15th at 94 hours.
  • The report found that "[t]he final mile of a commute into downtown [Denver] during peak periods took five minutes, with traffic moving at 13 mph."
  • The average cost due to lost time resulting from traffic congestion in Denver in 2018 per driver was $1,152.

Data From the Denver Regional Council of Governments

  • In October 2019, the Denver Regional Council of Governments published its "2018 Annual Report on Roadway Traffic Congestion in the Denver Region" (the most-recent version of that report available). We reviewed that report in its entirety and provided below what we deemed were the applicable data points pertaining to traffic congestion in Denver.
  • In 2018, Denver's traffic congestion caused an 11-minute delay in travel time on weekdays per household. That delay is projected to increase by 63% by 2040, rising to 17 minutes per household.
  • On an individual level, the average Denver commuter experienced a 5.8-minute delay in travel time due to traffic congestion in 2018 on weekdays. That delay is projected to increase by 72% come 2040, rising to 10 minutes per person.
  • Among total travel time in Denver on weekdays, 16% is spent "in delayed conditions." By 2040, that percentage is projected to increase to 23%.
  • In 2018, 21% "of total lane miles" were congested in Denver. That percentage is projected to rise to 36% by 2040.
  • In 2018, Denver had 1,489 "[l]ane miles of roads congested for three-plus hours." By 2040, that mileage is projected to rise by 89%.
  • On the average weekday in Denver, the financial cost of delays caused by traffic congestion total $4.7 million. On an annual basis, that equates to $1.5955 billion.
  • By 2040, the average weekday in Denver is projected to result in a financial cost from delays caused by traffic congestion that totals $8.8 million per day. That equates to an annual total cost of $2.9766 billion, which would constitute an 87% increase from 2018.

Additional Insights

  • A July 2018 article from 9News stated "that Coloradans rate the commute to Denver as the 13th most stressful in the country -- and the 17th longest by average (46 minutes). "
  • The number of people in Denver with commutes that take over 90 minutes, referred to as "super commuters", is approximately 21,000 per day.
  • Denver has far fewer super commuter than other cities in the U.S., as there are 616,000 in New York City, 227,000 in L.A., and 139,000 in D.C.
  • Though the number of super commuters in Denver is low compared other U.S. cities, the number of those individuals rose by 43% in Denver between 2005 and 2016.
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US Food Hall Trends, Part 1

The Wall Street Journal counted over 100 food halls in the United States in 2016, and the number was anticipated to reach 300 in the year 2020, according to industry experts. The trends in the United States food hall are discussed below.

Rise and Growth of Food Halls

  • The Wall Street Journal counted over 100 food halls in the United States in the year 2016, and the number was anticipated to reach 300 in the year 2020, according to industry experts. Over the past five years, food hall concepts across the United States have opened at an unprecedented rate.
  • According to Patrick Garza, CEO of National Food Hall Solutions, a Dallas-based company, people are looking to connect again, and food halls offer them the chance. Communal seating at food halls forces interaction between people, and Generation Y and Generation Z have embraced it.
  • Food halls will continue to see growth over the next few years. They will continue to expand from large urban areas into smaller towns and other segments. For instance, more universities, super-markets, and even hotels are opening food halls. Food halls are attractive due to low failure rates.
  • An Ocala, Fla., Hilton Garden Inn has plans for a food hall on its ground floor, while Columbia University in New York City has announced a campus food hall opening this summer. Kroger recently opened a new store in Cincinnati that features a food hall, and Whole Foods plans to open a food hall in a location in Tysons Corner, Va., which will be the chain’s new East Coast flagship.
  • Mostly, diners flock to food halls for a vast array of authentic and quality culinary options at a variety of price points. Food halls provide an opportunity for up-and-coming chefs and restaurateurs to build a following in a new market. Startup costs are lower than opening a stand-alone concept due to a variety of factors. These factors include common seating areas, smaller square footage, and reduced staffing costs.
  • Landlords and developers of office and mixed-use space have been quick to respond to the trend by adding food halls to new and existing projects. Today’s workers want super tasty food, right away. A conveniently located, well-curated food hall can cater to the needs of a group popping out for a quick bite.

Easy Access

  • The food halls of today offer chef-driven food, along with a seamless guest experience, unlike shopping-mall food courts in the ’90s. Currently, it is not enough in foodservice to serve good food but also provide a fantastic atmosphere.
  • As for Fulton Galley, it means restaurant-style add-ins like table runners and premium dinnerware. There is also a separate full-service bar and a private dining space that remain open after-hours.
  • Service style varies from hall to hall. Fulton Galley patrons who want to sample different items visit each stall separately to order, pay, and receive their table number.
  • Some food halls offer cards that are swiped at various stations, with customers receiving a final total at a central cashier station. Newer Hogsalt’s Astor Hall in Chicago goes beyond by leveraging technology in the form of self-ordering kiosks where customers order food from one or several stalls, pay altogether, and then visit each stall individually to pick up the various items.
  • Some food halls have evolved beyond the point of physical space and don’t even have four walls. Sous Vide Kitchen in New York, for instance, is a virtual food hall powered by online ordering, with the ease of delivery as the ultimate experience.

Innovations on how to Stand Out

  • Many food halls have begun partnering with celebrity chefs and creating viral food concepts in an effort to stand out. At Time Out Market New York, visitors can find internet-famous edible cookie dough or stop by the trendy Avocaderia.
  • Food halls such as Graze & Gather in Denver have seized on the growth of the freelance economy to create dual-concept, co-working spaces where guests can grab a breakfast burrito or craft pizza while working in an open and communal environment.
  • Food halls that are seeking to differentiate themselves have to return to the roots of the food hall model’s success: an emphasis on local and artisanal foods. Even though variety and convenience may be a food hall’s most significant draw, what ultimately distinguishes it from its passé food-court predecessor is the ability to showcase a high-quality selection of local restaurants under one roof.
  • Forum 55 in downtown Chicago features two community-focused incubator concepts that give diners the chance to try diverse food offerings while supporting local businesses.
  • Incubator platforms transform food halls from just option-abundant food courts to community gathering spaces, where diners can access their local favorites. The platforms also provide an opportunity for a higher number of restaurateurs to build healthier businesses by reaching new customers in a low-risk setting.
  • As long as food halls can continue to provide one-of-a-kind and affordable culinary options to consumers, diners should expect to see more food halls for quite some time.
  • The most robust food halls have a variety of vendor types and include some stalls that are vented and others that are non-vented, according to Garza, the CEO of National Food Hall Solutions. Non-vented stalls can allow for cooking if induction-style cooking or self-contained fryers are available on the market.
  • The Proud Bird in L.A. varies services to keep diners interested.
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US Food Hall Trends, Part 2

Food halls have grown overwhelmingly in the fast-casual dining over the last decade. Some trends in the US food hall space include food Halls as experiential retail, small is the new big, and chef-driven fast food.

Small is the New Big

Food Halls as Experiential Retail

Chef-Driven Fast Food

Research Strategy

To find information about trends in the US food hall space, the research team consulted reliable articles, websites, reports, and magazines. A factor was considered a trend if it is substantially affecting the design, use, operations, and experience in food halls in the US. Based on the criteria and from these resources, food Halls as experiential retail, small is the new big, and chef-driven fast food were identified as trends in the US food hall space.

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Denver: Cost of Living

The range for the cost of living in Denver is between 114 and 128.7, while that of the nation is 100. Denver, Colorado, is 12% higher than the United States national average. More details on our research logic can be seen below.

Standard Metrix For Research Analysis

  • The cost of living indices is based on the United States average of 100. Any amount below 100 means Denver is cheaper than the United States average, and a cost of living index above 100 means Denver, Colorado, is more expensive.

Data Points Comparing Denver With Other Cities

  • According to PayScale, the cost of living in Denver, Colorado, is 12% higher than the United States national average. Certain factors such as career, average salary, and the real estate market all interplay with the cost of living of any location.
  • Area Vibes statistics has it that Denver's cost of living is 114, Colorado is 110, and the national cost of living is 100. The statistical platform also provides data for goods and services index, groceries, health care, housing, transportation, and utilities index for Denver, Colorado, and the nation.
  • The goods and services index for Denver is 109, that of Colorado is 103, and the nation is 100. The cost of living for most indexes is above the national average, as can be seen on the Denver cost of living index. There are two exceptions, the utility index and grocery index of Denver are both below the national average.
  • Nerdwallet states that Denver, Colorado, is the "40th most expensive city among a database of 268 cities," and the median salary in Denver is $47,499.
  • The overall cost of living in Denver is 128.7, that of Colorado is 121.1, and the national average is 100. According to the Denver Post, "Denver residents have been inhaling hazardous air pollution at elevated levels on more than 260 days a year for the past two years, federal records show, as two new studies released this week ranked metro Denver among the top 10 worst U.S. cities for air quality."

Denver Versus Top Nine Cities United States

  • New York's cost of living index is 162. It has a higher cost of living index as compared to the cost of living in Denver, which is 114.
  • Los Angeles's cost of living index is 148. It has a higher cost of living index as compared to the cost of living in Denver, which is 114.
  • Chicago's cost of living index is 110, Dallas cost of living index is 99, Philadelphia cost of living index is 102, and all cities living index are lower than that of Denver.
  • Houston cost of living index is 94, Miami cost of living index is 109, all lower than the cost of living index in Denver.
  • Boston's cost of living index is 145. It has a higher cost of living index as compared to the cost of living in Denver, which is 114.
  • Washington's cost of living index is 152. It has a higher cost of living index as compared to the cost of living in Denver, which is 114.

Nearby Cities To Denver

Research Methodology

Two reputable research statistics gave varying data points on the average cost of living in Denver. Still, the research team, after carefully evaluating the data, came to the conclusion that the difference from the two data points lies in between a double-digit variance. This, by implication, means that the two data points are valid, and the team adopted to use a range to report on the cost of living in Denver, as can be seen.

Our research analysts made a comparison of the largest cities in the United States from ThoughtCo and Current Results, and the team selected the top nine cities that were among the first ten rankings and made a comparison of each city's cost of living with Denver. The selected cities for comparison are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, and Miami.
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Successful Food Halls

The Grand Central Market and the Oxbow Public Market are examples of successful food halls in the United States. This research provides insights about each food hall.

The Grand Central Market

The Oxbow Public Market

Research Strategy:

We initially looked for lists of popular and successful food halls in the US. The Grand Central Market and the Oxbow Public Market stood out among these food halls based on different articles, therefore, we examined their history and current operations. To further check whether they can be considered successful, we searched for the financial information of these two food halls by looking for annual reports and other credible sources. However, this information is not publicly available.

In this regard, our metrics for success were then based on the number of visitors. The Grand Central Market was reported to have 2 million visitors. While this information was not directly available for Oxbow Public Market, we based its popularity on the report published by San Francisco’s Urban Land Institute stating that the majority of the 3 million visitors in Oxford District go to its 3 iconic places that includes the Oxbow Public Market, making it one of the most popular.

Another metric that we considered is the food halls’ ratings and consistent positive customer reviews. The strategy was to select food halls with a rating of at least 4.5 out of 5 from more than 1,000 Google reviews and examine frequent phrases used by customers to describe their experience. Additional information on client experiences was obtained from Tripadvisor.


From Part 02
  • "In 2017 people averaged 1.1 more minutes in weekend and holiday travel activities than on weekdays, an average of 85.1 minutes per day. The average person spent the most weekend and holiday travel time (47.9 minutes) for activities related to personal care, about 15.8 minutes per day more than on weekdays. Travel related to eating and drinking accounted for 35.4 minutes—about 7.9 minutes more than on weekdays."
  • "Looking further back to include the 1995 and 2001 NHTS surveys, the changes in trip- making have been most apparent in young people who lived in urban areas, leading to widespread reporting of millennials changing travel preferences. Research found changing travel behavior across the population—by all ages in urban and rural areas. More research is needed, but some of the changes, such as declines in trips for shopping and errands, coincide with the rise in online shopping and household deliveries."