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Statistic Based Post On Restaurant Statistics

25 Key Restaurant Industry Statistics

The restaurant industry is important, and it probably always will be! Over the years, the entirety of the restaurant industry has grown and developed, evolving year after year.

The statistics from years like 2000 compared to 2022 are wildly different. Every decade comes with its own challenges and nuance – showcased by these 25 restaurant statistics from recent years. 

Below are some interesting restaurant statistics that you should look at if you’re interested in being a part of the restaurant industry. There’s a lot to learn just by looking at these numbers!

25 Restaurant Statistics

1. 2021 was the most profitable year in food service and drinking in the history of the US, while 2020 was less profitable than 2015 due to Covid-19

Unsurprisingly, the Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact on profits around the globe. In the restaurant industry, 2020 profits were as low as 2015 profits.

To understand why this is significant, it’s important to realize the restaurant profits have steadily grown for the past two decades or more. 2020 was the first time profits dropped, signifying just how severe the pandemic impacted businesses. 

Thankfully, profits bounced back in 2021, and are still soaring in 2022 thanks to a relative drop in spread and things such as vaccinations. 

2. Output of table service restaurants is estimated to be $76.6 billion by the end of 2022, compared to $72.8 billion in 2021

Table service is increasingly popular, and outlines that diners are served at their table. This has been becoming increasingly popular, driving down the need for restaurants such as buffets. It is clear that table service has been becoming increasingly popular as the restaurant industry itself has, too. 

3. The highest number of employees in the restaurant industry was a staggering 14.7 million, but this number has reduced by almost 3 million since then

The peak number of employees in the restaurant business was 14.7 million back in 2016. As times have changed, this number has been reduced to 11.2 million as of May 2022. This might be due to people simply not wanting to work in these environments, but also because of machinery taking on roles. 

Now, many people are often trained in more than one role to help keep costs down, too. The pandemic also forced many restaurants to close, which will heavily impact this statistic. Nonetheless, numbers are lower than they have been in years. 

4. As of May 2021, there were 1.8 million waiters and 1.3 million restaurant cooks

We may have expected the number of waiters to be higher! However, the pandemic has had a huge impact on numbers, and they may be lower for this reason. 

5. The highest-earning food service occupation in 2021 were the head cooks and chefs, who earned $27.37 per hour

The average wage for a head cook or chef was $27.37 per hour, though this number will frequently change. 

6. 94% of people in the United States are influenced by the online reviews of a restaurant when considering whether to eat there or not

Do you check the reviews of the restaurant before you visit? Surprisingly, up to 94% of people in the US like to check the reviews before heading off to a new restaurant. These people are influenced in some way by the reviews, and may even decide not to visit the location because of them. 

7. Up to 90% of travelers use TripAdvisor to help them find a restaurant to eat at while on the road traveling

It makes sense for travelers to use TripAdvisor or similar sites to find places to eat while on vacation. However, 90% is an incredibly high number! This number applies to travelers from the United States specifically. Travelers from places like the United Kingdom, Spain, and France are less likely to rely on TripAdvisor, but the numbers are still in the mid-80s.

8. Some 90,000 restaurants were either permanently or temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021

The domino-effects of the severe economic struggles have spread far and wide, and it’s often small businesses who feel it the most. In 2021, 90,000 restaurants had to either be permanently or temporarily closed because of the effects of the pandemic. 

In many cases, these restaurants were smaller businesses, as they don’t have the funding behind them. It can be assumed that many of these businesses are unlikely to open again because of debts and financial struggles.  

9. There was a 6% growth in chain restaurants in 2022

Bouncing back from the pandemic economy, there was a 6% growth in chain restaurants in 2022. This suggests that chain restaurants aren’t going anywhere, and will remain the fan favorite. Chain restaurants like McDonald’s have already proven to be the most successful, so this really comes as no surprise to anyone.  

10. Individuals who earn between $50.001-$60,000 per year were found to eat out the most frequently

People who earn between $50,001-$60,000 typically eat out the most frequently! This isn’t surprising, as the people in this pay bracket can afford to. According to the report, individuals in this pay group will eat out an average of 4 times every week. 

It’s important to note that eating out is often people’s choice not only because they don’t need to cook, but because it provides a social setting for them to enjoy. This allows them to relax and spend time with friends and family.

11. People who earn between $40.001-$50,000 spend 12-15% of their annual income on eating out – an average of $117.82 per week

Individuals who earn between $40,001-$50,000 typically spend between 12 and 15% of their annual income on eating out! This averages out to around $117 per week. This data suggests that the people who can afford to eat out regularly certainly do, and they aren’t afraid to spend a decent amount of money doing so. 

12. Millennials spend an average of $95 eating out every week 

We all like to eat out from time to time, but did you know that millennials like it a lot more than other age groups? For reference, millennials are typically between the ages of 25-34.

Compared to other age groups, millennials spend a minimum of $20 less per week. On the other hand, individuals aged 55 and over spend the least on eating out in the survey group, with only $42 on an average week!

  • 18-24 year olds spent $53 per week on average
  • 35-44 year olds spent $75 per week on average
  • 45-54 year olds spent $48 per week on average
  • Those aged 55 and over spent $42 per week on average

13. Up to 68% of potential diners are discouraged from eating at a restaurant if it has a bad website. 62% of diners have been discouraged from ordering a takeout or delivery because of the restaurant’s bad website

One could say that the population simply likes websites to look pretty, but it’s more important than that. A bad website suggests that the restaurant can’t be taken seriously, and could even be hazardous. It could also suggest that it is not properly run, and therefore not trustworthy. 

While a professional or aesthetic might be a simple thing, it’s incredibly important for business. A website shows that a restaurant means business and is reputable.  

14. 78% of restaurants claim that there is a significant benefit from having an online menu.

The majority of people, if given the chance, will look up the menu before visiting a restaurant. This is for a number of reasons, but people mostly want to know what to expect, or even make up their mind before they walk through the doors. 

Now, the statistics show us that this number is the “claimed” benefit that restaurants see, so proving or disproving this may be difficult. However, the numbers do make sense, and an online menu can give you the advantage of knowing if that restaurant suits you or not, among other things. 

15. 68% of customers would prefer to order their food directly from the restaurant’s official website than go through a third party

This number might be as high as it is for a number of reasons. One of the primary reasons could be trust. Ordering food from an unknown app or site can be disconcerting, and an option that most people would prefer to avoid.

An incredible 68% of customers would prefer to know that they are getting their food from a trusted source, and that there is no middle man involved. 

16. Half (50%) of all restaurants in the US have added either services or products due to the pandemic

We can assume that these added services and products have been a way to lure customers back to their websites and doors.

Since the economy suffered as a result of the pandemic, it is now more important than ever to bring in money for businesses to stay afloat. This simply tells us the dedication of restaurant owners and businesses, and how they are able to adapt to the changing times and needs of people. 

13. At Least 34% Of Consumers Spend  Or Less When Ordering Online

17. Most people (65%) prefer to use self-service kiosks compared to speaking to an employee when ordering at a restaurant

Self-serving kiosks primarily gained popularity in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, even now as things have cooled down, they remain popular.

Restaurants, especially chain restaurants like KFC and McDonald’s, have these in every location. They have created an easy and simple way of functioning, while still keeping human contact down to minimize risk. 

18. According to 79% of diners, technology improves a diner’s restaurant experience

This technology includes things like seeing menus online, ordering online, and even having Wi-Fi available in restaurants. It would be difficult to imagine a restaurant that doesn’t offer technology, even in the form of the internet, to customers to improve their experience. 

19. 42% of diners request their receipts to be delivered via email, while 11% ask for mobile receipts

Since technology has become the go-to method for everything, it isn’t surprising to hear that 42% of diners like to receive their receipts via email instead of them being printed out. Similarly, 11% of diners prefer to receive mobile receipts. This ensures that receipts are not lost, and will always be easy to find. 

Having electronic receipts as the primary form isn’t a bad thing! It will help keep waste down, since restaurants won’t have to print everything out. This will help build a greener and better future for everyone. 

20. The leading chain restaurant in the United States in 2021 was McDonald’s, with $45.96 billion worth of sales

McDonald’s was the leading chain restaurant in the US and made an incredible $45.96 billion in sales in 2021 alone. While McDonald continues to be the top chain restaurant, its profits have dipped and peaked over the years. This has mostly been due to the Covid-19 pandemic we have all experienced since 2019. 

21. Chick-fil-A got the top score on the American Customer Satisfaction Index for quick restaurant service, with a score of 83 in 2022. In second place was Jimmy John’s

The American Customer Satisfaction Index is the best way to gauge the satisfaction levels of customers across restaurants and businesses. Chick-fil-A won the top spot on this index with a total score of 83. In second place was Jimmy John’s with 79. The beloved Kentucky Fried Chicken came in with a score of 78, putting it on par with Dominos. 

Coffee central, Starbucks, scored an ACSI of 77, Five Guys scored 76, and way down at the bottom was McDonald’s. Unfortunately, though McDonald’s is the most popular chain restaurant in the US, it scored three points below Popeyes, who has 71. 

22. Up to 10% of restaurant food is wasted before ever even being served

We live in a world where food waste is normal, despite there being millions who would benefit from it. Recent statistics show that up to 10% of restaurant food is wasted before it ever touches a plate. This doesn’t include all the food that is wasted by orders being incorrect or simply left. 

23. 64% of millennials state that takeout is “essential to the way they live”

Out of the responders to this survey, it’s probably not surprising to find out that 64% of millennials see takeouts as being essential to their lives. This possibly just shows how busy young people’s lives are. Nonetheless, this statistic is high enough to suggest that take-outs are here to stay, and will continue to be a multi-billion dollar business.

24. It is expected that the use of QR code payments will grow by 240% by 2025

QR code payments will rise exponentially in the next few years. Why? No one typically carries cash around anymore, and it just makes sense to pay online. One of the ways that you can do this is simply via QR codes. 

Payment via QR codes is like a normal payment, but a smartphone will scan the code. This will bring them to a page where they can pay then and there – quick, just how everyone likes it!

25. 49% of restaurant operators claim that mobile payment is a must-have technology for diners to use

With the rise of technology, it comes as no surprise that mobile payments have become must-haves in the restaurant industry. This form of payment makes paying easier and quicker than ever, and you don’t need to carry around cards. 

Statistics like this make sense, but it is a surprise that this number isn’t actually higher. Mobile phones play a key role in our society, and they have become much more than a device used for calling. Now, they are all-in-one devices that both make our lives easier, and rule them. 


It’s important to know and understand the statistics in your industry so that you can learn from them. In many cases, you can use statistics to your advantage, and fill in the gaps where needed. For example, you will have learned that having a professional website and an online menu can be incredibly beneficial to your business. 

This should kick-start you into making the changes you need in order to be more successful in an ever-changing industry. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Is The Restaurant Industry Doing In 2022?

By the end of the year, it is estimated that the restaurant industry will reach $898 billion in sales. This will be a 10.9 increase compared to 2021.

How Many Restaurants Are There In The United States In 2022?

As of 2022, there are an estimated 155,448 “single location full service” restaurants in the United States.

How Many Americans Are In The Restaurant Industry, 2022?

Around 15.6 million Americans are currently in the restaurant industry, though this number fluctuates frequently depending on the time of year and economy.

How Many Restaurants Fail In Their First Year?

It is estimated that 1 in 3 restaurants will not survive their first year. This is roughly a 33.3% failure rate