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

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Number of employees

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This statistic shows the number of employees in the United States fast food restaurant industry from 2004 to 2018. In 2013, there were 3.65 million fast food restaurant employees in the U.S. This figure was forecasted to reach almost 3.8 million by 2018.
Employees in the fast food industry - additional information

The number of employees in the United States fast food industry remained fairly steady over the last decade. Although, slight growth is expected between 2014 and 2018 - like the revenue of the U.S. fast food industry which is expected to continue to grow to at least 2020.

The total wages paid in the U.S. fast food industry was forecasted to reach 51 billion U.S. dollars by 2018. The average annual wage for a fast food industry employee was also expected to grow to reach 15.5 thousand U.S. dollars in that same year. According to the Social Security Administration, the average national wage in the same year was 41.67 thousand U.S. dollars – almost three and half times higher than that of a fast food worker. The average revenue per fast food employee was 47,060 U.S. dollars.

The world-renowned fast food chain McDonald’s employed approximately 440,000 people worldwide in 2013. Another well-known company, Yum! Brands Inc., which includes the chains KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, had approximately 539,000 employees in 2013, around 86 percent of whom were employed part-time.
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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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