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Number of establishments in the U.S. fast food industry from 2004 to 2018

How many fast food restaurants are there in the U.S.?

In 2018, there were forecast to be 247,191 establishments in the United States fast food industry, up from 243,698 the previous year. This figure has increased by around 30 thousand over the past decade.

Fast food big players make up most of this number

The big players in the quick service industry are responsible for a huge amount of these establishments. Perhaps surprisingly, Subway came top of the list in terms of units, reporting almost 26 thousand stores in 2017. Fellow fast food powerhouses McDonald’s and Starbucks came in second and third place in the ranking respectively. These three restaurants alone accounted for almost 54 thousand U.S.-based establishments.

There may be a lot of restaurants, but how’s the revenue?

The revenue of the U.S. quick service industry peaked in 2018 at around 256 billion U.S. dollars. Out of the leading quick-service restaurants, which include brands such as Burger King and Pizza Hut, McDonald’s contributed the most of the total revenue of the U.S. fast food industry, accounting for approximately 38 and a half billion U.S. dollars. While Subway lead the way in terms of units it came in third place with a revenue of 10.41 billion U.S. dollar in its home nation.

Number of establishments in the United States fast food industry from 2004 to 2018*

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Release date

May 2013


United States

Survey time period

2004 to 2018

Supplementary notes

*The fast food industry is composed of restaurants where patrons pay before eating. Purchases may be consumed on-site, taken out or delivered. The data for 2014 to 2018 represent a forecast.

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