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MYTH: Katy is NOT the “Fast Food Capitol of the U.S.” Here's Proof.


March 23, 2018

Katrina Katsarelis

Take a deep breath'll be relieved to know that national news sources got it wrong. Katy is NOT the fast food capital of America. Here's what we know.

Today, Forbes Magazine and other news sources are reporting that Katy Texas holds the NUMBER ONE SPOT for the most fast food restaurants per capita in the "Small Cities" category. The reports claim Katy has a whopping 62.5 restaurants per 10,000 residents. But here's why their data is flawed. No matter how you spin it, the numbers just don't add up.

Over the years, we've seen many instances where national news sources will take the smaller demographic population of CITY OF KATY limits (19,158) and not the KATY AREA population (339,585). They will then clump everything under that smaller population with a "Katy, TX" address, and that's what appears to have been done here.

If the report pulled from the entire Katy Area population of 339,585 that would mean there would have to be over 2100 fast food restaurants in the Katy Area to meet the 62.5 restaurants per 10,000 residents. According to Lance LaCour, president of the Katy Area Economic Development Council there are only 652 Eating and Drinking establishments* (only 179 of them are categorized as fast food restaurants) in the entire Katy Area covering a population of 339,595. This is not even close to 2,100 fast food restaurants that we would need to have to meet their claim of 62.5 per 10,000 residents.

If the report was referring to only the City of Katy population of 19,158, that would mean there would have to be 119 fast food only restaurants in the City of Katy limits alone (Katy proper) which is clearly not the case. There are approximately 21 fast food restaurants, and 56 total Eating and Drinking establishments in the City of Katy according to data from the Katy Area Economic Development Council. Not anywhere near 119 that would be needed to be number one on the list.

This data shows the City of Katy or the entire Katy Area doesn't even come close to making the list at all.

This is not the first time national media made this mistake. When the new Legacy stadium was built, many perplexed reporters wondered why Katy needed a stadium holding 12,000 when the population at the time was just over 16,000 at the time. We explained to those reporters at the time that the stadium would serve the Katy Area population and not just city limits.

Here's what Forbes Magazine wrote based on Datafiniti Data:

Again, this list is dominated by Southern cities, with Katy, TX taking the top spot with a whopping 62.5 fast food restaurants per 10K residents. In the distant second, with just 43.9 is Naples, FL. Just two cities are outside the South with Traverse City, MI at 36.8 and Littleton, CO at 30.0.''

Katy Magazine is reaching out to Forbes and Datainfiti to alert them of this mistake so they can stop categorizing Katy Texas incorrectly as a fast food heavy community.

*Katy EDC Data provided by Alteryx.

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