Restaurant industry in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Published by S. Lock, Aug 21, 2018
Food and drinks sales of the restaurant industry in the United States reached 745.61 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 – a long way from the 42.8 billion seen in 1970. This figure was forecasted to rise again in 2016 to more than 782 billion. The number of employees in the restaurant industry is also forecasted to see growth. In 2015, there were approximately 14 million people working within the industry, by 2026 this number is expected to reach over 16 million.

The restaurant industry in the United States is generally comprised of independent or chain full-service and limited-service restaurants. In 2015, full-service restaurants (FSRs), including chains such as Applebee’s and Red Lobster, generated around 247 billion U.S. dollars in food and drink sales. Limited-service restaurants (LSRs) made over 210 billion that year. The LSR category includes well-known fast-food restaurants and coffee chains, like McDonald’s and Starbucks. McDonald’s is the leading chain restaurant in the U.S. in terms of sales, making 35.84 million U.S. dollars in 2015.

More than 195 million U.S. consumers visited a sit-down restaurant in the spring of 2016. During the same time, over 216 million Americans visited a fast-food place. According to the ACSI Index, Chick-fil-A had the highest customer satisfaction ranking out of 17 limited service competitors. In the same year, McDonald's scored the lowest in the study. The ACSI ranking of all full-service restaurants in the United States has remained at around 80 out of 100 between 2007 and 2016, peaking in 2009 with a score of 84.

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Restaurants in the U.S.

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