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85 Restaurant Industry Statistics | Facts and Trends in 2024

85 Restaurant Industry Statistics | Facts and Trends in 2024

It’s not easy to be a restaurant owner these days, but that shouldn’t discourage anyone. Regardless of the era, brilliant insights are the key essential to your business journey, and the advanced data-driven world today can lend a big hand in that area. 

In this article, we have compiled a list of staggering 85 statistics in the restaurant industry, so you can stay at the top of this game!

Recent Trends in Restaurant Industry Statistics

recent trends in restaurant industry statistics

Wonder how the whole industry is doing these days? Like any other industry, restaurant industry statistics are constantly fluctuating. In 2024, several new and interesting trends also have emerged, for example, the rise of virtual kitchens, and the option to have a contactless dining experience. Thus, let’s see what are some of the most recent trends you should get to know right now.

  1. In 2024, improving profitability (and margins) is marked as the most important business goal by more than 30% of restaurateurs. (Toasttab, 2023)
  2. Recently, 73% of diners see eye to eye that technology improves their experience in restaurants. (Toasttab, 2017)
  3. On the other hand, 95% of restaurateurs also agree that restaurant technology enhances their business efficiency. (Toasttab, 2017)
  4. In 2022, the spending on food away from home in the US increased by 15%, from $1.16 trillion to $1.34 trillion. Similarly, the spending on food-at-home also grew by 10%. (USDA, 2023)
  5. Nearly 40% of diners in the United States follow restaurant’s social media accounts to help them decide whether dining in or taking away options is a better idea. (QSR, 2019)
  6. No wonder why 67% of restaurants had spent money on at least one social media advertising campaign in 2021. (Sprout Social, n.d.)
  7. The trend of virtual kitchens is on the rise. In 2022, this market was valued at $34.2 billion and it is expected to reach $80.9 billion by 2030. (Market Research Future, 2024)
  8. In contrast, the excitement of diners towards ghost kitchens seems to have plateaued, as the findings in 2021 and 2023 show no significant difference that 52% said they would order from a ghost kitchen, while 24% felt indifferent to the new trend. (Deloitte, 2023)
  9. The global market size of the delivery apps is also worth keeping an eye on, as it is expected to reach $165 billion by 2029. (Business of Apps, 2024)
  10. Experts had predicted that the total food service industry sales would hit $855 billion in 2023, which shows a 0.1% decline of real growth, once compared to the year 2022. (Datassential, n.d.)

Restaurant Market Statistics

Next, you might be interested in how the restaurant industry is performing on a social scale. This includes its contribution to the nation’s GDP and employment rates. The following statistics provide a snapshot of the industry’s health.

  1. According to the findings, there are more than 1 million restaurants in the United States. (National Restaurant Association, n.d.)
  2. From 2019 to 2020, the number of restaurant locations in the United States increased by 2%. (Finances Online, n.d.)
  3. Recently, the projected annual sales in the restaurant industry are $863 billion. (National Restaurant Association, 2024)
  4. According to the project’s annual sales, the restaurant industry sits at around 4% contribution to the United States’  GDP. (National Restaurant Association, 2024)
  5. As of May 2019, the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) is at 101.6, and usually, anything over 100 is considered a time of growth for restaurants. (National Restaurant Association, 2024)
  6. In 2024, 94% of full-service restaurants have planned to scale up their business in some way. (2024 State of Restaurants Report, 2024)
  7. The size of the food service market in the United States is projected to skyrocket to $1,767.54 billion within less than ten years (by 2030). (Fortune Business Insights, 2024)
  8. Among cities in the United States, San Francisco, California has the highest concentration of restaurants per capita: 3.9 restaurants per 10,000 households. (Finances Online, 2024)
  9. In 2023, the food costs increased, thus 60% of restaurant operators admitted that all or most suppliers raised their prices, which is up from 50% in 2022. (Apicbase, 2024)
  10. However, even though most operators raised their menu prices in 2023, fewer operators will do so this year. (Apicbase, 2024)

Restaurant Segment Statistics

The restaurant industry is a very large industry with many different segments inside, and each segment’s performance undoubtedly is different from each other. Why don’t we look at some high-performing segments so that it might spark some ideas?

  1. The F&B industry makes up the largest segment of the restaurant industry. According to the estimation, 50% of all meals consumed in the United States are provided by this industry. (Hospitalitynet, 2017)
  2. Back in 1955, the family food dollar was responsible for 25% of the restaurant industry. However, fast forward to 2019, the total number increased to 51%. (National Restaurant Association, 2024)
  3. Looking ahead after the year 2022, QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants) will be the fastest-growing segment, heading towards 200,000 establishments in the United States, in the franchising sector. (IFA, 2023)
  4. The QSR segment is a major driver of employment in franchising, accounting for 45.3% of the total employment rate. (IFA, 2023)
  5. Out of every cuisine in the United States, Italian food is considered the most popular of all. (National Restaurant Association, 2024)

Restaurant Sales Statistics

Sales are another important aspect of the restaurant industry you’d surely want to know about. This section answers questions like “What is the average transaction value?” and “How often do restaurateurs check sales reports?”

  1. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average American consumer allocates 33% of their income on housing, 15.8% on transportation, and 12.6% on food. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016)
  2. The average cost for takeaway orders in the United States per meal is estimated at $31. (2024 Diner Trends Report, 2024)
  3. The overall sales of restaurants in the United States have shown steady growth, increasing from $842.3 million in 2021, to $974.9 million in 2022, to $1,087 million in 2023. (Apicbase, 2024)
  4. The trend is expected to continue, as in 2024, the restaurant industry sales in the US are expected to hit the mark of $1.1 trillion, which represents a higher figure than 2023’s sales. (National Restaurant Association, 2024)
  5. The study found that 68% of restaurant professionals review sales reports on a regular basis. (Toasttab, 2019)
  6. Since the minimum wage increases in many places globally, the restaurant industry report illustrated that more than 60% have increased their menu prices. (Toasttab, 2019)
  7. In 2019, more than 90% of restaurant operators expect their profit to increase to some extent. (Toasttab, 2019)

Restaurant Employment Statistics

restaurant employment statistics

We have briefly touched on the employment rate in the restaurant industry earlier. Therefore, let’s dig deeper to see where the workforce is headed and how workers’ lives are in this era.

  1. With more than 15 million employees in the industry, the restaurant industry is the second-largest private-sector employer in the United States nowadays. (Restaurant News, n.d.)
  2. By 2029, the number of jobs in the restaurant industry is projected to be more than 16 million jobs. (National Restaurant Association, n.d.)
  3. Interestingly, 1 in 3 Americans admitted that their first job experience was being a part of restaurants, while 6 in 10 adults have worked in restaurants at some point in their lives. (Toasttab, 2024)
  4. The good news is the restaurant industry hires more female and minority-group managers than any other industry out there. (National Restaurant Association, n.d.)
  5. However, the industry also faces a significant challenge: employee turnover is at an all-time high, reaching around 75%. (Toasttab, 2019)
  6. More than 90% of restaurants nowadays have hired fewer than 50 employees. (National Restaurant Association, n.d.)
  7. Around 50% of restaurant operators consider staff recruitment as one of the hardest challenges, while 35% say that training staff is the most challenging issue. (Toasttab, 2019)
  8. The average cost of hiring and training a new staff member is up to $2,000 per person. (Toasttab, 2019)
  9. On top of that, the average cost of hiring and training a new manager can go up as high as $15,000. (Toasttab, 2019)
  10. In an effort to retain staff, 46% of restaurants offer a mentor program. (Toasttab, 2019)
  11. 53% of restaurants offer food safety and alcohol certification training to their staff members. (Toasttab, 2019)
  12. 68% of restaurants offer an employee handbook to newly-hired staff members. (Toasttab, 2019)
  13. It’s worth noting that only 32% of restaurants offer sexual harassment training to their staff. (Toasttab, 2019)
  14. Due to the rise of minimum wage, almost 50% of restaurant operators have allowed (and scheduled) their employees to work fewer hours in the past 12 months. (Toasttab, 2019)
  15. For the same line of reason, there are 16% of restaurant operators which have to stall the hiring process in order to reduce the labor costs. (Toasttab, 2019)

Restaurant Consumer Preferences and Dining Statistics

When it comes to eating, customers have their own unique tastes and preferences. And once you’re in the restaurant business game, this is your job to know what the majority’s taste is (or even the niche target audience’s taste!), and what are the contributing factors that can influence their eating choice.

  1. The study shows that almost half (45%) of customers eat out several times per week, while 20% eat out at least once a week. (Toasttab, 2024)
  2. Believe it or not, numbers show that there is some extent of pent-up demand for restaurants, as 39% of adults admitted that they are not dining on-premise as often as they would love to. (Toasttab, 2024)
  3. 72% of consumers put high-quality food on the top priority as a criteria when making decisions on which restaurant to eat. (Toasttab, 2019)
  4. On the other hand, if we’re talking only about online food ordering, most consumers prioritize speed as the most important quality of a certain restaurant, followed by value, and then food quality. (Toasttab, 2019)
  5. The most popular day of the week for customers to order food is Friday. (DoorDash, 2024)
  6. The most popular time of the day for customers to order food is 6PM (local time). (DoorDash, 2024)
  7. How diners order food is different in each age group. As expected, the most preferred option among older customers is ordering via phone: 47% of boomers and 38% of Gen X. On the other hand, the favorite channel among younger groups is ordering via apps: 27% of millennials and Gen Z, compared to 11% of Gen X and 4% of boomers. (Touchbistro, 2023)
  8. However, when it comes to addressing complaints, telephone is the most preferred way for more than half of diners. (Deloitte, 2023)
  9. 41% of consumers would purchase a cook-at-home meal kit from their favorite restaurants, if they are offered. (National Restaurant Association, n.d.)
  10. 78% of Millennials would rather spend money on an experience than merely purchasing an item from a store – and by referring to ‘experience’ that includes restaurant experience! (Eventbrite, n.d.)
  11. In this day and age, the role of online presence is pivotal, as 90% of customers research a restaurant online before going in for dining. (Zipdo, 2024)
  12. Most customers seem to be satisfied with the restaurant business technology, the findings show that 79% of customers prefer online ordering and kiosks, while 78% enjoy QR code menu ordering. (Eater, n.d.)
  13. When customers are ordering online, they are more likely to opt for the official restaurant’s website, rather than other third-party sites such as Grubhub. (Toasttab, 2019)

Restaurant Food Statistics

You’re in the restaurant industry, so regardless of the era, food quality still matters. Let’s look at some data on food trends, dietary preferences, and ingredient sourcing because it will significantly impact your business decisions.

  1. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, around 60% of full-service restaurants reported that they are offering fewer choices of menu than before. (National Restaurant Association)
  2. Around 31% of restaurants revise and update their menu on a monthly basis, while 24% do it seasonally. (Toasttab, 2019)
  3. As we all know, health-conscious trends are gaining significant momentum: 61% of diners these days are more likely to eat healthy than they were in the past few years. (National Restaurant Association, n.d.)
  4. In the current landscape, consumers are becoming more environmental-conscious. Current food trends include local sourcing, zero-waste cooking, fresh produce, and healthy kids meals. (National Restaurant Association, n.d.)
  5. Another finding similarly shows that more than half of general consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant that has options of environmentally friendly food items. (National Restaurant Association, n.d.)
  6. Restaurants acknowledge the environmental-conscious mindsets among consumers, thus a number of them are coming up with ways to reduce food waste, for instance, 28% of restaurants repurpose food trimmings, 26% offer varied portion sizes, and 25% compost. (Toasttab, 2019)
  7. The trend of ‘farm-to-table’ is also worth keeping an eye on, as 62% of today’s consumers say they would prefer a restaurant that offers locally sourced ingredients. (Cuboh, n.d.)
  8. Even though ‘breakfast’ is mostly related to morning, in contrast, 55% of diners admitted that they would order breakfast menus at any time of the day, if they were offered. (National Restaurant Association, n.d.)
  9. Due to the higher food costs, 53% of restaurants say that they have to cut some menu items out. (National Restaurant Association, 2024)
  10. Consequently, 92% of restaurants say higher food costs are a significant challenge for their business. (SpotOn, 2023)

Restaurant Promotion Statistics

In every business field, promotions are always an enticing offer to customers, and the restaurant industry is no different. Here are some key insights we discovered regarding this topic.

  1. 81% of consumers would be willing to participate in a customer loyalty program if their favorite restaurants offer it. (National Restaurant Association, 2024)
  2. Interestingly, the benefits that consumers most would like to receive from a restaurant loyalty program are discounts, as 78% answered so. (Hospitality Tech, 2023)
  3. Over 70% of customers are more likely to visit a restaurant if they are offered personalized promotions. (Persuasion Nation, 2024)
  4. For more than 40% of restaurants, customer rewards programs are the most effective way to boost customer loyalty. Followed by social media and websites as an effective way for 35% of restaurants. (Square, 2024)
  5. More than 80% of restaurateurs nowadays seek out Facebook as the platform for their business promotion, making it the most popular social media platform for restaurant marketing in the United States. (TouchBistro, 2024)

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Restaurant Payment Statistics

restaurant payment statistics

From start to finish, the restaurant should provide customers with the best experience ever, and we are reaching the last bit towards the end: payment options. Let’s see how technology has impacted customers’ behaviors during restaurant payment.

  1. When paying for less expensive food items (e.g. coffee), around 62% of consumers would choose to purchase with their credit or debit card. (Toasttab, 2019)
  2. On the other hand, when paying for more expensive items (e.g. fancy meals), the number of credit or debit card users goes up to 88%. (Toasttab, 2019)
  3. 54% of Millennials look at self-ordering kiosks as technology that can improve the guest experience. (Toasttab, n.d.)
  4. From the findings in 2019, only 31% of restaurants offer mobile payment for their customers, but the number probably has increased now. (Toasttab, 2019)

Restaurant Technology and Innovation Statistics

Before wrapping up, there is another significant aspect about the restaurant industry one should be familiar with, especially in this era, and that is restaurant technology and innovation. Let’s see what the customers like and dislike, and what can enhance the lives of restaurateurs!

  1. From the customers’ perspective, the most important technology features a restaurant can offer are online reservations and free in-store wifi. (Toasttab, 2019)
  2. More than 60% of diners are satisfied with handheld tablets provided for ordering, as they improve their guest experience. (Toasttab, 2017)
  3. Restaurateurs say credit card processing, accounting, and inventory are the most important integrations to their restaurant POS. (Toasttab, 2019)
  4. When it comes to POS upgrades, the top-ranked features that are the most sought-after are usage convenience, depth of reporting, and also inventory reporting. (Toasttab, 2017)
  5. After the trend of POS system upgrades slid in, the most popular back-office technologies were accounting software (52%, up from 31% in 2018) and payroll software (50%, up from 28% in 2018). (Toasttab, 2019)
  6. For restaurant operators, if they had extra money on hand, 47% of them would allocate it to equipment updates or repairs. (Toasttab, 2019)

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Digesting Insights

You probably already have a basic idea of how the restaurant industry is doing in this era. This brings us to one last step where you need to experiment and try to turn these insights into something fruitful for your business strategy! Of course, we totally understand that competition in the restaurant business is cutthroat, which is why you might want to have an assistant who can alleviate a lot of your burden: Mandala AI. Let Mandala AI save you time and gain a competitive edge with its all-rounded social media analytics tool. Start your 15-day free trial now!; the link is right here.

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