Food and drink sales of eating and drinking places in the United States from 2009 to 2016 (in billion U.S. dollars)

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Sales in billion U.S. dollars

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This statistic shows the food and drinks sales of eating and drinking places in the United States from 2009 to 2016. Sales of eating and drinking places were forecasted to rise to approximately 556.12 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Eating and drinking places include full-service and limited-service restaurants, cafeterias, grill-buffets, buffets, snack and non-alcoholic beverage bars, social caterers and bars and taverns.

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 2014, there were more than 630 thousand restaurants in the U.S., including full service, limited service, independent and chain restaurants. Food and drink sales in eating and drinking places were expected to exceed 490 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 82 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.

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Release date
February 2016
United States
Survey time period
2009 to 2015
Supplementary notes
* Forecast
Figures have been rounded.

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