Restaurants in the U.S. - additional information
The restaurant industry in the United States is a large contributor to the country’s economy, providing hundreds of thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars each year. As of fall 2015, there were more than 620 thousand restaurants in the U.S., including full service, limited service, independent and chain restaurants. Food and drink sales in eating and drinking places exceeded 527 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. The wider restaurant industry, which includes, among other establishments, retail, mobile, non-commercial and lodging food services, was forecasted to generate more than 700 billion dollars in food and drink sales in 2015.
The largest portion of food and drinks sales in the U.S. restaurant industry is generated by full service restaurants. Full service restaurants are what some may think of as traditional restaurants – sit-down restaurants with full table service, ranging from casual to fine dining. This segment was expected to make 220 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. The second largest contributor is limited service, or quick service, restaurants. Typically referred to as fast food restaurants, U.S. limited service restaurants make up the largest industry of its type worldwide.
Despite the health risks associated with it, fast food is very popular in the U.S., with more than 20 percent of consumers visiting quick service restaurants at least weekly. An August 2014 survey found that chicken sandwich chain Chick-Fil-A was America’s favorite global fast food chain.