Consumer spending in the quick service restaurant sector in the U.S. 2004-2019

The quick service restaurant sector (QSR) in the United States has seen a year-over-year growth since 2004, with its peak consumer spending reaching approximately three hundred billion in 2018. Comparatively, consumer spending in this sector saw a notable decline of about seven percent in 2019.

Fast food industry in the U.S. - additional information

Quick service restaurants (QSRs) are fast food restaurants, set apart from full service or table restaurants by their limited menus, minimal table service and, as their name implies, fast service. QSR's are popular in the United States, it was estimated that there were 194,723 quick service restaurant franchise establishments in 2018. Quick service restaurants include limited-service eating places, cafeterias, fast-food restaurants, beverage bars, ice cream parlors, pizza-delivery establishments, carryout sandwich shops, and carryout service shops with on-premises baking of donuts, cookies, and bagels.

Despite the health implications associated with fast food, 20 percent of U.S. consumers visit fast food restaurants at least once a week, with six percent visiting daily. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) carried out in 2019, the quick service restaurant chain in the United States with the highest ACSI score was Chick-fil-A. With a score of 86 out of 100, the chain was seven points higher than the average score for all limited-service restaurants which was 79. McDonald’s was the lowest with a score of 69.

That being said, McDonald’s is the largest fast food company in the United States and worldwide, generating global revenues of almost 125 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. The company’s closest competitor in terms of revenue was Starbucks, with 42.23 billion U.S. dollars, followed by Subway with 18.27 billion U.S. dollars.

Consumer spending in the quick service restaurant (QSR) sector in the United States from 2004 to 2019

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Sources

Release date

February 2020

Region

United States

Survey time period

2004 to 2019

Special properties

Fiscal year ended December 29 of each year.

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