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80 Fast Food Industry Statistics | Facts and Trends in 2024

80 Fast Food Industry Statistics | Facts and Trends in 2024

Lots of people love fast food because it’s quick and easy, making it popular nowadays. They don’t just affect what we eat but also have a big impact on the economy.  That’s why it’s important for investors, restaurant owners, government officials, and customers.

Check out  “80 Fast-Food Industry Statistics | Facts and Trends in 2024” to learn important stats and facts about what’s happening in the fast-food world for making smart decisions and planning.

Fast Food Industry Market Size and Growth Statistics

fast food industry market size and growth

To understand the fast food industry, start by learning how big it is and how much it’s growing. Look at who’s winning in the market now and what experts predict for its future.

  1. In 2019, the U.S. boasted about 194,395 fast-food restaurants, including popular franchises like McDonald’s. (Statista)
  2. In 2020, the fast food industry amassed $200 billion in the US and a staggering $570 billion globally, showcasing its significant size and global importance. (Gitnux)
  3. By 2020, a whopping 785,316 franchise owners were running fast-food restaurants throughout the United States. (Scottmax)
  4. In 2021, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Taco Bell, and Chick-fil-A emerged as prominent market leaders in the U.S. (IbisWorld)
  5. For decades, this industry has shown steady growth, increasing at a remarkable rate of about 1.1% annually. To illustrate, in 2000, it was valued at $239.2 billion. (Scottmax)
  6. McDonald’s serves its iconic menu in over 119 global markets, boasting more than 39,000 outlets. (Statista)
  7. Starbucks follows, with a brand value of $47.7 billion, compared to McDonald’s $129.32 billion. (Statista)
  8. The estimated global market value for the fast food industry is projected to reach $931.7 billion by 2027. (Budget Branders)
  9.  The average annual growth rate for fast food consumption is 2.2%. (Budget Branders)
  10.  The fast food market is forecasted to have significant growth, leading to a substantial revenue increase by 2032. (LinkedIn)
  11. The global fast food market is expected to reach $740,130 million by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2019. (LinkedIn)
  12. Europe will experience steady growth in this market, due to the growing number of tourists. (Fortune Business Insight)
  13. Asia Pacific will record fast growth in the market led by the use of digital platforms for food delivery. (Fortune Business Insight)

Fast Food Industry Revenue and Sales Statistics

As restaurant owners, understanding sales figures for major fast food chains and consumer spending trends is crucial for success.

  1. In 2020, North America led the global market, capturing a revenue share of USD 337.8 billion. (Fortune Business Insight)
  2. In 2021, fast-food restaurants in the U.S. generated a revenue of $278.6 billion. (IbisWorld)
  3. In 2022, the fast food industry in the US ranked in an impressive $331.41 billion in revenue. (Scottmax)
  4. Americans collectively spend $200 billion on fast food annually. (Budget Branders)
  5. The average amount Americans spend on fast food in a year is $1,200. (Budget Branders)
  6.  The average amount Americans spend on fast food in a lifetime is $70,500. (Budget Branders)
  7. McDonald’s, with $37 billion in sales, is the leading fast food franchise in America. (Gitnux)
  8. Plant-based food retail sales in the U.S. rose by 11% from 2018 to 2019, reaching a market value of $4.5 billion. (Plant Based Foods Association)
  9. During the pandemic, Chipotle’s digital sales soared 216%, with most customers favoring carryout despite dining room reopenings. (Titlemax)

Fast Food Consumer Behavior and Preferences Statistics

fast food consumer behavior

The key to improving your restaurant is understanding your customer’s behavior. Look into stats and facts about what menu items are popular, dietary trends, and how people like to order.

  1. About 30% of fast food restaurants now offer healthier options on their kids’ menus. (Reuters)
  2. 39% of people say that healthy choices are a big factor when picking a fast-food spot. Brands like Chipotle and Chick-fil-A get praise for their organic options.(Statista)
  3. McDonald’s committed to no longer serving chicken raised with antibiotics meant for humans. (NPR)
  4. Fast food meals have fewer calories now than they did in 2012. In 2013, restaurants cut menu item calories by 12%, about 60 calories on average. (NPR)
  5. Fast food is most popular for lunch (43%) and dinner (42%), followed by breakfast (22.7%) and snacks (22.6%). (Budget Branders)
  6. Despite being a cheaper option, fast food consumption rises with higher family income: 42% for higher income, 36.4% for middle income, and 31% for lower income. (Budget Branders)
  7. Research indicates that fast food consumption declines with age: 44% among those aged 20-39, 37% among 40-59-year-olds, and 24% among those aged 60 and above. (Budget Branders)
  8. Over 84 million Americans, about a third of adults, eat fast food daily, according to recent reports. (the Centers for Disease Control)
  9. 36% of youths aged 2 to 19 also consume fast food on a daily basis. (the Centers for Disease Control)
  10. Approximately 50 million Americans consume fast food on any given day. (Budget Branders)
  11.  80% of Americans visit fast food restaurants at least once a month. (Budget Branders)
  12.  20% of Americans visit fast food restaurants twice a week. (Budget Branders)
  13. Women were more likely than men to report eating fast food as a snack (37.9% versus 31.5%). (Gitnux)
  14. During COVID-19, 88.5% of customers preferred pickup/drive-thru for fast food. (Statista)
  15. 76% of fast food consumers consider it bad for health, 20% kind of good, and 2% good. (Budget Branders)
  16. Europe is one of the most attractive markets in the world, where there is high growth potential for baked food products and potato products. (Fortune Business Insight)
  17. The U.S. is the largest market for the snack food industry, due to customers’ eating out most of the week. (Fortune Business Insight)
  18. Over 60% of fast-food customers now use mobile apps for ordering and payment. (PYMNTS)
  19. 20% of all American meals are eaten in the car. (Gitnux)

Fast Food Chains and Market Share Statistics

Gaining insights into fast food chains, including their market share, store numbers, and revenue performance, can aid restaurant owners in adapting strategies.

  1. The expansion of fast food chains into developing regions and the growing availability of products through online retail are fueling growth in Japan, India, and China. (Fortune Business Insight)
  2. McDonald’s remains the king of fast food, boasting the highest global brand value at an estimated $129.3 billion in 2020. (Gitnux)
  3. While McDonald’s holds the brand value crown, Subway takes the title for most locations globally. As of 2020, they had a staggering 41,600 stores. (Gitnux)
  4. McDonald’s has a market share of nearly 42%, while Burger King has a market share of around 5% both in the US Fast Food Market. (Gitnux)
  5. From a customer perception perspective, McDonald’s ranked higher with a score of 69 out of 100 compared to Burger King’s score of 66. (Gitnux)
  6. Pizza Hut dominates the pizza segment with over 16,796 restaurants worldwide. (Gitnux)
  7. KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is the world’s most popular chicken restaurant chain, with over 25,000 locations globally. (KFC)
  8. McDonald’s led the way in 2013, committing to enhance menus in 20 major markets, covering 85% of their sales. (NPR)
  9. McDonald’s serves over 69 million people every day. (Gitnux)
  10. In the U.S., subway was chosen as the healthiest fast food restaurant by 19% of respondents, making it the top pick. (Gitnux)
  11. Subway was chosen as the healthiest fast food restaurant by 37% of voters, followed by Chipotle with 25% and Chick-fil-A with 7%. (Gitnux)
  12. Despite being closed on Sundays, Chick-fil-A generates more revenue per restaurant than any other fast-food chain in the US. (Gitnux)
  13. Healthier options and value are increasingly important to consumers. Chains like Chipotle have capitalized on this with their “fast casual” approach. (Statista)
  14. Breakfast sales are the fastest-growing segment within the fast-food industry. (Technomic)
  15. The online food delivery market for fast food reached an estimated value of $43 billion globally in 2022. (Mordor Intelligence)
  16. Affordability is a key factor influencing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty within fast food. (American Customer Satisfaction Index)

Product and Service Segmentation Statistics

Fast food offers numerous popular dishes, but not all may align with a restaurant’s desire to specialize. Understanding customer preferences can guide your menu design.

  1. The global hamburger market valued at US$ million in 2023, expected to reach US$ million by 2030. (LinkedIn)
  2. The North American hamburger market is set to rise from $ million in 2023 to $ million by 2030. (LinkedIn)
  3. Asia-Pacific hamburger market is expected to grow from $ million in 2023 to $ million by 2030. (LinkedIn)
  4. Major global hamburger manufacturers comprise McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Burger King and Domino’s Pizza. (LinkedIn)
  5. Hamburger market growth is propelled by increasing demand for takeout and dine-in options globally. (LinkedIn)
  6. In 2023, cheese, chicken, and beef were the product types with the largest market share in hamburgers. (LinkedIn)
  7. KFC sells nearly 9 million pieces of chicken daily. (Gitnux)
  8. There’s a Chick-fil-A dish ordered more than once every second. (Gitnux)
  9. French fries are the most common fast food item purchased in the US. (Gitnux)
  10. Over 244 million Americans visited fast-food burger restaurants in 2018. (Gitnux)

Fast Food Industry Trends and Innovations Statistics

Finally, let’s explore the future trends that will propel the fast food industry to its leadership position.

  1. A growing number of fast-food chains are implementing eco-friendly practices like using recycled packaging and reducing their carbon footprint. (RD)
  2. 70% of consumers have used a mobile ordering system to make a purchase for quick pick-up at a QSR location. (Trax Retail)
  3. More consumers are using mobile payments through digital wallets to complete their purchases. (Trax Retail)
  4. Industry leaders prioritize price, product quality, digital engagement, and customer service while embracing technological innovations to secure market share. (LinkedIn)
  5. McDonald’s, with its Velocity Growth Plan, focuses on technology, delivery, and Experience of the Future (E.O.T.F.) restaurants, setting industry standards. (LinkedIn)
  6. Fast food is changing thanks to Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Beyond focuses on plant-based alternatives, while Impossible uses yeast for protein. (LinkedIn)
  7. KFC partners with Beyond Meat for plant-based fried chicken and collaborates with 3D Bioprinting Solutions in Russia for lab-grown chicken nuggets. (LinkedIn)
  8. The “no-meat” trend extends beyond KFC, with Burger King’s Rebel Whopper and Starbucks’ Impossible breakfast sandwich, meeting evolving consumer preferences. (LinkedIn)
  9. Fast food brands have integrated delivery services into their business models to adapt to changing consumer habits effectively. (LinkedIn)
  10. Delivery has become a $3 billion business for McDonald’s, available in over 20,000 restaurants across 75 countries, reflecting the industry’s customer-centric approach. (LinkedIn)
  11. McDonald’s emphasizes innovation for better customer experiences, focusing on initiatives like Experience Of The Future (EOFT) to align with digital trends.  (LinkedIn)
  12. KFC emphasizes the impact of technology investments on quality and operations, citing iFlares implementation at Amrest KFCs for real-time insights. (LinkedIn)
  13. Major fast-food companies are innovating production processes to prioritize food quality and reduce waste, which is central to their operational goals. (LinkedIn)

Digesting the Data 

In the competitive fast food industry, adapting to evolving customer behaviors post-COVID-19 is vital. Embracing technology, enhancing delivery services, adopting eco-friendly packaging, and offering healthier options are key. Tools like Mandala AI can help analyze social media data to optimize marketing strategies and improve restaurants effectively.

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