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31 Powerful Restaurant Industry Statistics

By Blog

People love eating out, and that’s the reason why this market is in constant rise. New restaurants are opening daily in order to meet the evergrowing demand. All these establishments are trying to meet customers’ needs and requirements. That can be hard since trends change as well. 

Now:

According to the restaurant industry statistics, there are several big factors that contribute to the big growth of the restaurant industry. Most important of them are increased income levels, followed by better hospitality and an increased variety of offered cuisines. 

The good news is: 

Personal finances are still at a very good level and do not represent a reason for concern. This fact implies that we can expect additional consumer spending in the future and even bigger restaurant industry, exceeding the massive 863 billion dollars’ worth achieved in 2019, according to the restaurant industry growth rate.

Let’s dig in.

Delicious Restaurant Industry Facts (Editor’s Picks)

  • The US restaurant industry was worth $863 billion in 2019.
  • The restaurant industry sales were $148.4 billion in 2019.
  • The global foodservice market was worth $3.4 trillion in 2018.
  • There has been a 10.9% revenue growth rate in the restaurant industry in China, the highest in the world
  • There are 200,000+ fast-food restaurants in the US.
  • There were 50,153 eating and drinking locations in New York in 2018.
  • There are 15.1 million employees are in the US restaurant industry.
  • There will be 16.9 million employees in the US restaurant industry by 2028.
  • 75% is the employee turnover rate in the restaurant industry.
  • Annual worldwide food delivery sales could reach $365 billion by 2030.

Restaurant Industry Growth Rate in 2019

1. The US restaurant industry was worth $863 billion in 2019.

Source: Restaurant.org

According to the statistics, the projected growth rate of limited-service restaurants was 4.9% in 2019, while it was 3.3% for table-service restaurants during the same year. The growth of the restaurant industry is somewhat constant throughout the last couple of decades since there were just a few dips in 60 years of measuring the industry’s worth. 

The growth rate of the restaurant industry of around 4% is bigger than in many other industries, and this growth is a rule of a thumb throughout the last decade. That’s the reason why we can expect this trend to continue in the future as well.

2. The compound annual growth rate  (CAGR) of restaurant sales since 1970 is 6.4%.

Source: Fesmag

According to the estimates by the Washington, DC-based industry group, restaurant sales growth since 1970 had a 6.4% CAGR. Restaurant industry growth is very consistent. Over the last 20 years, accounting for inflation, the US restaurant industry has grown at a 2.1% CAGR. 

3. Retail stores, vending, and drinking places are growing 20% faster than the average.

Source: Aronallen

This growth rate is not the same for all segments of the restaurant industry. Retail stores, vending, drinking places, and limited-service restaurants are growing 20% faster than average, according to the restaurant industry growth statistics. On the other hand, other segments like schools, colleges, hotels, and motels can’t keep up with this tempo.  Nevertheless, in 2019 all 50 states had positive sales growth projected. 

4. Less than 1% of population growth expected in the Northeast and Great Lakes region, a factor that affects restaurant sales.

Source: Brookings

The biggest factor dictating restaurant sales increases is the population growth rate. If we take this into account, the Mountain and Pacific regions can expect the highest population growth rates over the next 10 years. In contrast, the Northeast and Great Lakes regions will face very little population growth, which will impact negatively the restaurant industry facts.

5. There was a 3% decrease in the restaurant industry in 2009, according to restaurant industry statistics.

Source: NetGrafika

As we stated, the restaurant industry has enjoyed continuous growth over the years, with just a few exceptions. Those exceptions are the years 2008 and 2009 when the recession hit the US economy hard, so the restaurant industry suffered as well.  According to the restaurant growth rate by year statistics, in 2008 the restaurant industry suffered a decrease of 0.9%, and in 2009 the decrease was 3%.

6. There was a 3% increase in the restaurant industry in 2000.

Source: Statista

Besides these two years, the increase was pretty much constant over the rest of the years of the past two decades. The smallest increase was in the years 1990 and 2010, only 0.5%. The biggest increase was in the year 2000. Over the last couple of years, the increase is a steady 2-3%.

7. $148.4 billion was the value of the restaurant industry sales in 2019.

Source: Restaurant.org

The restaurant industry revenue growth statistics are showing that the value of the restaurant industry sales was close to a mind-blowing $150 billion dollars in 2019, also following the increasing trend over the years. Ever since 2010, the value has been over $100 billion per year, %105.3 billion in 2010. Since 2016, the value has steadily gone over $140 billion. 

8. 2.1% is the expected industry growth rate for chain restaurants in 2020.

Source: Ibisworld

As for the chain restaurants in the US, the market size is expected to reach $151.5 billion in 2020. According to the average revenue growth in restaurant industry statistics, that is an expected growth of 2.1% in the US market size growth, and 1.9% growth in the US annualized market size growth in the period from 2015 to 2020. 

9. There was an 8% increase in money generated by the fast-casual chain restaurants in 2018.

Source: RetailStrategies

Overall, fast-casual chain restaurants in the Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report generated $42.2 billion in the US in 2018, which was an increase of 8% from the year before, according to chain restaurant industry growth rate statistics. That is a smaller increase than noted in 2017 when it was 8.6%, but it is still the best growth rate of any other industry sector growth in that period. 

10. The global foodservice market was worth $3.4 trillion in 2018

Source: Cision

The restaurant industry is strong and dominant in the US, but the rest of the world is on a faster growth rate than the US.  The US restaurant industry is still the biggest and has the most value, but the rest of the world is cutting the difference. According to global restaurant industry statistics, the global foodservice market was worth around $3.4 trillion dollars in 2018, and it is expected to reach the staggering value of $4.2 trillion dollars by 2024. That would be a CAGR of 3.6% between 2019 and 2024. 

11. The size of the foodservice market was $3 billion in 2017.

Source: RestaurantBusiness

The estimated size of the international foodservice market was around $3 billion dollars in 2017. Out of this, $872 billion comes from the US, and the country is the leading contributor. Following is China with a 624 billion annual intake.  But according to the facts about the restaurant industry globally, this will not be the case for very long, since the Chinese restaurant has a revenue growth rate of 10.9% a year, the highest in the world by a long way. 

12. The overall global restaurant sales rate increase is 5.6%.

Source: RestaurantBusiness

China is leading by a lot, but the US growth rate is even smaller than the average rate of global sales. In the US, the growth of restaurant sales is 3.4%, while the global average is at 5.6%. 

13. The quick-service restaurant industry is worth $200 billion per year.

Source: BrandonGaille

As for the quick-service restaurant industry statistics, the data are showing that this industry is worth around 200 billion dollars per year, and the estimates are that it will rise by another $25 billion in the next five years. As of 2016, there were over 186,000 franchised quick-service restaurants in business in the US. For comparison, in 2006 there were just around 28,000 locations in business. 

14. The projected growth rate for limited-service restaurants is  4.9%.

Source: RestaurantBusiness

Consumers are favoring the convenience and affordability of limited-service restaurants. According to the limited-service restaurant industry statistics, there was a projected growth rate of close to 5% for this type of restaurant in 2019.  Last April, sales rose by 1.7%, even more than in March and more than the average of 1% in 2018. Out of limited-service restaurants, quick-service concepts had an increase of 3.9% in sales, followed by fast-casual chains with an increase in sales of 1.2%. 

On the other hand, casual dining had a decrease of 4.9% and midscale or family dining had a decrease of 4.2%. 

15. $200 billion was the revenue from US fast-food restaurants in 2015.

Source: KJRH

Fast food restaurant industry financial statistics are showing that, globally, this industry generates over 570 billion dollars, more than the economic value of a lot of countries. In the US, in 2015, revenue was around $200 billion, a significant growth from the $6 billion figure in 1970. Annual growth of 2.5% is expected in the next couple of years, following a several-year slump.

16. There are 200,000+ fast-food restaurants in the US.

Source: FranchiseHelp

Fast food industry statistics show there are over 200,000 fast-food restaurants in the US, and it is estimated that over 50 million Americans eat at one of them every day. That’s a lot of burgers and fries! This industry employs more than 4 million people, and in 2015 it added over 200,000 new jobs. 

Unsurprisingly, burger joints dominate with over 30% of industry sales. But they are on the gentle downslope, while Mexican food is gaining in popularity. Mmmmm, tacos!

17. There were $825 billion worth of sales in restaurants in 2018 and $863 billion in 2019.

Source: Fesmag

The restaurant industry sales statistics for 2019 reveal that restaurant sales grew significantly from the year before. This slight increase is strengthening the position of the restaurant industry which is a bit stronger in the last couple of years. 

18. There were $65.1 billion in sales in the restaurant industry in December 2019.

Source: Restaurant.org

In December 2019, restaurant sales registered a modest gain, after a two-month slide. According to restaurant industry sales statistics, sales in December were just 0.2% higher than in November. What’s more, they were still lower than the record high of $65.5 billion in September. Sales are still 4.9% bigger in 2019 than in 2018, which is a lot more than a 3.7% increase in grocery store sales during the same period. 

New York City Restaurant Industry Statistics

19. There were 50,153 eating and drinking locations in New York in 2018, restaurant industry statistics reveal.

Source: Restaurant.org

New Yorkers work hard and party hard. So, the restaurant industry is one of the most important in the Big Apple, as it employed 865,800 people in 2019. This amounts to 9% of the total employment in the state. Although the times are not exactly perfect for the restaurants, the number of employees in the food industry is expected to go up by 5.6% in the next decade, which is 48,700 additional jobs or 914,500 jobs in total. 

20. $51.6 billion were spent in the New York restaurants in 2018.

Source: Restaurant.org

The New York City restaurant industry stats are a great read for restauranteurs. This is a very important figure since the industry contributes a lot to the state economy. For every dollar spent in the table service segment, the state economy gets $1.76 dollars, and every dollar spent in the limited-service segment contributes $1.51 to the state economy.

21. There were 27,043 restaurants in New York in 2018.

Source: Crainsnewyork

The number of restaurants in New York, according to the restaurant industry stats, has been on a slow but steady increase (around 1% annually) in the last couple of years. In 2018, there were 27,043 restaurants in New York, compared to 26,697 restaurants in 2017. Ever since 2013, there have always been more than 25,000 restaurants in New York. Bon Appetit! 

22. There was a 4% decrease in the number of employees in the New York City restaurant industry in January 2019.

Source: Restaurant.org

As far as employment in the New York City restaurant goes, according to the restaurant statistics for US cities, last year in January there were 6,500 fewer employees in the restaurant industry, or 4% less. This is the biggest decline since the 2001 recession and the 9/11 attacks, which devastated New York City’s tourism and restaurant industry. After the Great Recession, New York City’s full-service restaurant employment was growing pretty fast, with a growth rate of 6-8% from 2010 to 2015. 

But after a couple of years of stagnation, it turned to negative growth. 

23. There was a 1.6% job loss in the restaurant industry in New York in 2018.

Source: Restaurant.org

The data from the state’s Department of Labor about the US restaurant industry stats are showing that in 2018 there was a slight job loss in 2018, the first recorded such instance in nearly 20 years. This does not seem like much, but it is strange since even at the time of the Great Depression of 2008-2009, restaurants posted 0.1% job growth. As of January 2019, overall jobs are down 3.9%.

24. A tip wage increase of 100% created a negative job growth of 124%

Source: AEI

As we stated, according to the US restaurant industry statistics, after the recession, the city’s restaurant saw big annual employment growth. So, in 2014, there was a 6.7% growth in full-service restaurant jobs, and in 2018 there was a loss of -1.6%. This means that in the period when the tip wage increased 100%, job growth dropped 124% and became job loss.

Restaurant Industry Employment Statistics

25. There are 15.1 million employees in the restaurant industry in the US.

Source: Upserve

There are currently over 15 million employees in the US restaurant industry. This figure accounts for 10% of the overall workforce in the US.  Most often, in more than 90% of the situations, these restaurants have fewer than 50 employees. 

26. 16.9 million people are expected to work in the US restaurant industry by 2029.

Source: Restaurant.org

The expectations are that the numbers will go up by around 1.6-1.8 million new restaurant jobs by 2028, bringing the total to nearly 17 million employees, according to the restaurant industry labor statistics. The number of available employees is actually decreasing since there were around 1.7 to 1.8 million Bachelor’s degrees every year in the last decade. These people cannot work in low-paying restaurant jobs. 

27. There is a 75% employee turnover rate in the restaurant industry.

Source: Ontheline

Getting decent staff is sometimes a challenge for restaurant owners, at least 30% of them. But it also represents a great opportunity since 90% of restaurant managers and 80% of restaurant owners started at entry-level. 

Nevertheless, restaurant industry employee turnover statistics show that the rate is higher than ever, at 75%. And this is a big concern for restaurant owners since it can cost up to $2,000 to hire and train a new staff member, and up to $15,000 for a new manager.  

Restaurant Industry Trends

28. Worldwide food delivery sales could reach $365 billion by 2030.

Source: Forbes

One of the biggest trends in 2019, which is definitely going to continue in 2020, is the increase in delivery sales. By 2030, delivery sales could rise up to 20% and reach a mind-boggling $365 billion worldwide. This amount will come from a variety of venues. Pick-up generated $124 billion dollars and 32 billion dollars from a direct delivery from a restaurant in 2019. $13 billion dollars were expected to come from third-party delivery companies. 

29. There was a 149% increase in fermented foods on US menus in 2018.

Source: The Global and Meal

Another leading trend in the restaurant industry is functional foods, currently gone mainstream in the restaurant industry. According to the stats, there was a whopping 149% increase in fermented foods and a 99% increase in CBD on menus in 2018. The trend continued in 2019, which became the year of functional food and drinks. 

All in all: 

Healthy food has found its place in the restaurant industry and cemented it and continues to grow. 

30. 77% of the US population is active on social media, the greatest platform for restaurant marketing.

Source: Upserve

As for restaurant industry marketing trends, social media represents the best platform to conquer. Instagram has redefined the way people deal with food, but Facebook and YouTube are other great platforms to advertise your restaurant or food services or get rave reviews. More than three-quarters of the US population is active on social media, so it represents a huge opportunity to reach a huge number of people and interest them in your restaurant. 

31. There was a 3.6% increase in the price of wholesale food from 2004-2014, compared to a 2.9% increase in the menu prices.

Source: Rewards Network

Restaurant industry economic trends reflect general economic trends in the US. The top challenges the restaurant operators are facing are the government with 18% and food costs with 17%. From 2004 to 2014 the price of wholesale food increased by 3.6%. In the same period, menu prices grew by only 2.9%. This forces restaurant operators to become more productive and efficient. 

Besides these, there are several restaurant industry trends that are very popular and it is expected for them to continue to be popular in 2020. 

Here’s the deal:

Plant-based cuisine will continue to grow, both in variety and in sales. Mushrooms are becoming very popular due to their taste and food benefits. Also, people are choosing to get their proteins from alternative, healthier options, and they want to know exactly where from is the food they are eating. 

What’s more:

Restaurant owners will have to continue to experiment with new, bold flavors. And the food earlier declared as waste will be prepared in some newfound way. According to the restaurant industry today facts and figures, technology will play a significant part due to the highest employee turnover rate of all industries. 

Key takeaway:

Since it is very difficult and expensive to hire and train a new worker, restaurateurs are trying to automatize all food preparation processes.

FAQ

Q: How many people are employed by the restaurant industry?

A: According to the latest data, there are more than 15 million employees in the restaurant industry in the US. The number of employees is on a steady rise since 2010, adding around 300,000 new employees each year since 2010, when there were 12.6 million employees in the restaurant industry. Around 90% of all restaurants employ less than 50 workers. Chain restaurants employ more than half of all the employees in the restaurant industry (7.88 million people). 

Q: How big is the US restaurant industry?

A: The US restaurant industry is the biggest in the world. It is expected to generate nearly $900 billion in sales this year. As of 2017, there were over 1 million restaurants in the US. The US restaurant industry has been on a slow but steady rise ever since 1970. 

Q: How much does a restaurant owner make per month?

The salaries of the restaurant owners can be very different depending on several factors. The average restaurant owners have an annual salary of around $60,000, but the range is very big, from $29,000 to $153,000 dollars. Some restaurant owners make extra through bonuses or profit-sharing. Experience is one of the key factors determining the salary. The greater the experience, the closer you are to the higher end of the range. 

Q: How big is the restaurant industry?

A: According to the latest data, which is unfortunately from the end of 2014, there are around 15 million restaurants, pubs, and cafes in the world. This number should be taken with a grain of salt since it is not updated in the meantime, and according to the trends in the restaurant industry it can only be bigger. In the EU, there are around 1.6 million businesses with food services, and more than 75% of them are small and medium businesses. 

Q: How many restaurants are in the US?

A: The total number of restaurants in 2017, by Statista’s definition of the term, was 647,288, which was a 2% decrease from 2016. As for chain restaurants, they reached the number of 301,183 units, without a significant increase. The total number of independent restaurants had a decrease of 10,952 units or 346,105 units overall. Quick service restaurants declined by 1% to 353,211 units. Full-service restaurant units had a decrease of 2% and reached the number of 294,167 units. 

Q: How many new restaurants open each year?

In 2018, 13,251 new restaurants opened in the US. That was a 2% increase in comparison to 2017. Newly opened restaurants have a solid chance of survival in the first year. Only 17% of new restaurants fail within the first year. But, 70% of restaurants that make it through the first year will be closed in the next 3-5 years. Out of all the restaurants still operating after 5 years, 90% will stay open for a minimum of 10 years. 

Conclusion

The restaurant industry reports revealed many challenges for restaurant owners and employees. 

That being said: 

The restaurant industry statistics indicate that the industry is slowly getting up to speed, even though the figures are smaller than five years ago. 

Bottom line:

It is time for new strategies in order to follow the evolution of trends in the industry. This is very important since this industry brings nearly a trillion dollars in sales and employs almost 10% of the total US workforce. 

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