Try our corporate solution for free!

Fast food restaurants in the U.S. - statistics  &  facts

A quick service restaurant (QSR), or limited service restaurant (LSR) is an establishment that serves meals at a lower price point and typically provides fast service, a limited menu, and limited table service. They are more commonly referred to as fast food restaurants outside of the industry. The quick service restaurant industry in the United States is one of the most well-established in the world. Many of the biggest global QSR brands originated in the U.S. and dominate a large portion of the market. In the U.S., all states are home to fast food restaurants. In a 2019 ranking of the U.S. states with the most QSRs, California accounted for the highest number with almost 31.5 thousand units, while the least populous state, Wyoming, accounted for the least. The total revenue of the QSR industry in the U.S. dropped to 239 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 from 273 billion in 2019 as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

What are the biggest U.S. fast food brands?

While the U.S. fast food landscape has been inundated by new concepts over the past decade, the well-established U.S. QSR brands are continuing to show growth. When looking at the leading U.S. fast food chains by sales, McDonald's accounted for the highest sales with 40.41 billion U.S. dollars. Meanwhile, coffeehouse chain Starbucks followed in not-so-close second place. With a brand value of over 129 billion U.S. dollars, McDonald’s was also the leader in a list of the most valuable fast food brands in the world followed by brands such as Domino's Pizza, Subway and, Yum! Brands (parent company of Taco Bell, KFC & Pizza Hut). Although burger restaurants, like McDonald’s, are the most typically associated with the U.S. quick service restaurant market, sandwich chain Subway came top in a ranking of the biggest QSR chains by number of units with over 23 and a half thousand establishments in the U.S. alone.

Are fast food restaurants popular with U.S. consumers?

In 2020, the average American Customer Satisfaction Index score for quick service restaurants in the U.S. was 78 out of 100. McDonald's was rated a score of 70, meaning customer satisfaction was 8 points below the industry average. Meanwhile, chicken restaurant Chick-fil-A was the highest-rated QSR with a score of 84. Chick-fil-A was also awarded the highest level of drive-thru order accuracy in U.S. restaurant chains. However, Chick-fil-A had the longest drive-thru times while Dunkin' was top when it came to the fastest drive-thru times in U.S. QSR chains.

Digitalization of the U.S. fast food industry

In recent times, the QSR industry has moved increasingly online, in 2019 the global revenue of the online food delivery market reached 107.4 billion U.S. dollars. Furthermore, the market size of the U.S. quick service delivery sector was predicted to reach as much as 33.2 billion dollars by 2022. Many fast food restaurants have formed partnerships with online food delivery services such as GrubHub, DoorDash, and UberEats in order to target this growing market. This online market became crucial to quick service restaurants during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, where lockdown and social distancing measures caused consumers to be unable to order in-store. The U.S. online food delivery penetration share in the restaurant market was predicted to rise from the pre-COVID-19 estimate of 10 percent to a post-COVID-19 estimate of 14 percent in 2021.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 24 most important statistics relating to "Fast food restaurants in the U.S. ".


Get in touch with us. We are happy to help.
Statista Locations
Contact Vianny Gutierrez-Cruz
Vianny Gutierrez-Cruz
Sales Manager– Contact (United States)

Mon - Fri, 9am - 6pm (EST)

Contact Ziyan Zhang
Ziyan Zhang
Customer Relations– Contact (Asia)

Mon - Fri, 11:30am - 10pm (IST)

Contact Kisara Mizuno
Kisara Mizuno
Customer Success Manager– Contact (Asia)

Mon - Fri, 9:30am - 5:30pm (JST)

Contact Lodovica Biagi
Lodovica Biagi
Director of Operations– Contact (Europe)

Mon - Fri, 9:30am - 5pm (GMT)

Contact Carolina Dulin
Carolina Dulin
Associate Director - LAC– Contact (Latin America)

Mon - Fri, 9am - 6pm (EST)