Eating out behavior in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

In 2015, food and drink sales in the United States restaurant industry reached 745.61 billion U.S. dollars. This is unsurprising considering almost 19 million people reported visiting a full service restaurant and over 49 million people reported visiting a quick service restaurant in the spring of 2016.


Warm weather appears to be influential in U.S. diners' decision to visit a restaurant, with almost half reporting that they most frequently eat out during summer. When choosing a restaurant, food quality, distance to venue and quality of service was the most important factors to U.S. diners. The lowest rated influencers where the recommendations of friends and online recommendations.

Overwhelmingly, American cuisine was the favorite of U.S. consumers in 2016, with 80 percent of people preferring it when eating in a restaurant. The least popular ethnic food was Scandinavian or Nordic with only two percent of people preferring to eat it when dining out. In terms of selecting healthy meals when eating out, U.S. diners considered the option of dishes with local and fresh ingredients to be the most important factor, followed by restaurants providing low-calorie options and nutritional information on the menu.

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