Fast Food Industry - Statistics & Facts

Fast Food Industry - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts about the Fast Food Industry

The U.S. fast food industry is by far the largest in the world, spawning global fast food brands such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway. In 2010, the fast food industry generated total revenue of 184 billion U.S. dollars in more than 300,000 restaurants, employing 3.9 million people. Many of those establishments are operated as franchise restaurants, a concept that is very common in the fast food industry. A parent company, such as McDonald’s, permits its franchisees to operate branded restaurants in exchange for a franchise fee or a share of the revenue. Franchisees are supplied with uniform ingredients by the parent company or its suppliers and are typically obliged to follow strict operational guidelines.


In 2010, McDonald’s was the market leader in the U.S. fast food industry with a market share of 12.7 percent. Yum! Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet was second with a market share of 9.7 percent. Other major players include Wendy’s, Starbucks, Burger King, and Doctor’s Associates, the company behind Subway. All these major players combined accounted for less than half of the industry’s revenue in 2010, indicating a highly competitive industry with a low degree of concentration.
Photo: istockphoto.com / cookelma

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