Restaurants and food services in Europe - Statistics & Facts

Eating out is one of the most popular leisure activities among Europeans, resulting in a booming restaurant and food service industry. Food services, also known as catering services, refer to all services for out-of-home consumption of food and drink, including restaurants, cafés, bars, takeaway, food delivery, contract catering, cafeterias and other food vendors. The consumer foodservice market in Western Europe was valued at 427 billion euros in 2016 and the Eastern European market at 45.6 billion euros.

Two of the biggest markets in the food and beverage service industry are in the United Kingdom and France, where in 2015 enterprises generated revenues of 87.8 billion euros and 63.2 billion euros respectively. In terms of presence, Italy and Spain also compete, ranking highest for number of food service enterprises in the EU in 2014.

Restaurants are possibly the main outlet type used by consumers in the food service industry, from full service 'sit down' restaurants, to limited service and casual dining establishments. Restaurants and mobile food services in the European Union generated a total turnover of around 237 billion euros in 2015, with France and the UK leading the market once again. The highest number of restaurant enterprises can be found in France, although restaurant numbers in the UK have been steadily rising, reaching 72,794 enterprises in 2015.

Quick service and fast food restaurants are a key segment of the restaurant industry. Fast food brands including Subway, McDonalds, Burger King and KFC dominate the landscape for restaurant franchises in Europe. The U.S. fast food giant McDonalds is present in most European countries. Also often incorporated into the quick service restaurant market are coffee shops and cafés, in which Costa, Starbucks and McCafé are the leading players in Europe.

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