New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Virginia have become major dining destinations for Americans in recent years, with restaurants opening across the country, from Las Vegas to Boston to New Orleans.
But while the area is still a hotbed for restaurant business, its not quite as big as it once was.
The area now accounts for less than 5 percent of all U.S. restaurant sales.
And for the most part, restaurants that once dominated the New York area and Southern California are mostly gone.
“The industry has been really decimated,” said Steve Villere, president of the Atlantic City Restaurant Association.
“I think that’s the reality of the industry right now.”
Atlantic City’s population of just under 12 million is now about 3.5 million people.
The area has had more restaurants open than any other U.N. city, according to a report published in June by the International Association of Restaurant and Foodservice Professionals.
The city has more than 7,000 restaurants and more than 4,000 food service workers.
But there are still plenty of spots to choose from, including some of the city’s top spots, including Atlantic City’s famed Casinos, The Revels and The Palms.
“Atlantic City has become a restaurant town,” said Scott Pomeranz, president and CEO of the American Restaurant Association, a trade group for restaurant operators.
“There’s a very good opportunity for our members in this region to thrive.”
Some of the country’s top restaurants, including Jack in the Box and the famous Olive Garden, are closing down.
And even some longtime favorites like Olive Garden and Jack in Vegas are being replaced by other new offerings.
There are a number of new options to choose a place to eat if you want to stay close to home, Villeres said.
But some are being opened in places like Atlantic City, like the Casinos at The Palmas, or the The Revel in the Venetian, which have closed.
“We’ve also seen a lot of restaurants close down, and some of those are really great places, and I think that gives people a better understanding of the market, and what to look for,” he said.
The city’s restaurants are also seeing an uptick in food-related injuries.
The number of reported food-borne illnesses has increased dramatically, according the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is responsible for the study.
That’s partly because of the increased number of people who get sick, Villesre said.
“I think people are becoming more aware of the fact that we’re not immune to these things,” he added.