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123+ Restaurant Industry Statistics (2024) [Updated]

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restaurant industry statistics
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The year 2023 is proving itself to be a better year for restaurants after the struggles of COVID-19.

However, the new year has brought along with a lot many trends and challenges to consider.

The demand for sustainable dining, diversified menus, and experience-based dining is on the rise.

The restaurant industry is experiencing a paradigm shift in all aspects.

If you are hoping to start a restaurant, you might want to consider key figures and statistics.

To help you out, we have curated this restaurant industry statistics for 2023. This will help you understand different aspects governing the restaurant industry and navigate through the challenges in a better way.

Restaurant industry statistics will answer different questions like:

  • What is the growth rate of the US restaurant industry?
  • How much of total restaurant sales do online orders constitute?
  • What is the most preferred marketing channel for restaurants?
  • How much does it cost to train and retain restaurant employees?

And a lot more!!

Let’s dive right in.

Restaurant Industry Statistics & Facts for 2023

It’s time to dive deep into restaurant statistics by covering each aspect in brief detail. Let’s get started. 

Restaurant Industry Statistics and the COVID-19 Pandemic

  1. 3 out of 4 operators believe that restaurant businesses are getting back to normal in 2023. (source)
  2. More than 54% of restaurant operators reported a decline in profit margins after COVID-19. (source)
  3. Restaurateurs reported reaching 75% of pre-covid sales level. (source)
  4. There are over 1 million restaurants in the USA. (source)
  5. The US fast food industry was expected to grow by 2.9% between 2022 and 2023.  (source)
  6. 10% of total US restaurants closed their gates permanently as an impact of COVID-19 in 2020. (source)
  7. The bar and restaurant sales recorded a jump of 7.2% in January 2022 making it one of the highest sales in the last 22 months. (source)

Restaurant Owners Statistics

  1. The average age of restaurant owners is 40+ years old. (source)
  2. On the basis of gender, 54.5% of restaurant owners are male and 45.5% are female. (source)
  3. According to the National Restaurant Association, 41% of restaurant businesses are owned by minorities of which 19% are Asian-owned, 14% are Hispanic-owned and 9% are black African-American-owned. (source)
  4. 49% of restaurant owners have a bachelor’s degree and only 6% of total owners have a master’s degree. (source)
  5. Spanish is the most popular foreign language spoken amongst restaurateurs, followed by French. (source)
  6. According to a report by the National Restaurant Association, 9 out of 10 restaurateurs started their careers in entry-level positions. (source)

Restaurant Online Ordering Statistics

  1. The meal delivery segment in the US is expected to reach $97 billion in 2023.  (source)
  2. 51% of diners prefer ordering from the restaurant’s website directly rather than a third-party delivery platform. (source)
  3. Online ordering and food delivery services have grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014. (source)
  4. 59% of millennials prefer takeout or delivery for their restaurant food orders. (source)
  5. There is a 54% increase in online food ordering volume year after year. (source)
  6. Restaurants offering online ordering can expect a revenue increase of at least 12.1% within the first year. (source)
  7. On average a consumer spends between 25-50 dollars on their online orders for food delivery. (source)
  8. 34% of customers spend up to 50 dollars on their online orders for food. (source)
  9. Restaurant operators reported an average increase in sales by 17% by introducing online delivery in their business model. (source)
  10. Delivery speed is the factor of topmost priority for customers ordering food online. More than 33% of people are willing to pay a premium for faster delivery. (source)
  11. E-marketers predicted that 53.9 million people will be using online delivery apps by 2023. (source)
  12. Online ordering has become more frequent in the past few years. More than 29% of consumers indulge in digital food ordering, at least twice a week. (source)
  13. According to Statista, DoorDash dominates the online food delivery market in the USA with a market share of 65%, followed by Uber Eats and Grubhub. (source)
  14. 41% of restaurateurs use at least 3-4 platforms for online food delivery. (source)

Restaurant Menu Statistics

  1. Nearly 85% of diners check the restaurant menu online before visiting the restaurant. (source)
  2. Nearly 24% of restaurant owners have reduced the number of items on the menu in 2023. (source)
  3. 27% of restaurant operators eliminated certain items on the menu to reduce extremely high operational costs. (source)
  4. According to the National Restaurant Association, Menu prices across all the restaurants in the USA have increased by 7.1% between June 2022 to July 2023. (source)
  5. 46% of diners suggested menu price plays an influencing role in deciding whether or not to dine at a particular restaurant. (source)
  6. Nearly 51% of diners are positively satisfied with a QR scan menu. (source)
  7. 79% of millennials love experimenting with cuisines from different cultures and countries. They are more likely to visit a restaurant with varied and innovative food menus. (source)
  8. According to 77% of survey restaurants, Cannabis-infused drinks are the most trendy items on the menu in 2023. (source)
  9. To combat rising prices, more than 53% of restaurateurs increased menu prices by 10-29 %. (source)

Restaurant Labor Statistics

  1. 97% of restaurant operators reported that they are short in staff by at least 1 position. On average, the restaurants are short-staffed by 5 positions. (source)
  2. The US restaurant industry is the second largest private employer in the nation. It provides 12.2 million jobs in eating and drinking places, constituting 10% US workforce. (source)
  3. According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), 9 out of 10 restaurants have less than 50 employees. (source)
  4. Compared to other industries, the restaurants employ more women and managers from minorities. (source)
  5. As per the National Restaurant Association report, 63% of adults have worked in the restaurant industry at one point in time, i.e. 6 out of 10 adults. (source)
  6.  It takes approximately $2000 to hire and train regular restaurant workers. The same for the manager will take up to $15,000. (source)
  7.  Restaurants have the highest turnover rate standing at 75%. It’s no wonder that a restaurant is almost understaffed. (source)
  8. More than 50% of restaurateurs consider hiring and retaining restaurant employees as the top challenge in running a restaurant. (source)
  9.  The average tenure of restaurant workers stands at 110 days. No wonder, nearly all the restaurants are understaffed all the time. (source)
  10.  The average age of a restaurant employee/worker is 23 years. (source)
  11. According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a restaurant employee is around $38,423 annually. (source)

Restaurant Marketing Statistics

  1. 90% of diners look at a restaurant online before visiting it in person. (source)
  2.  More than 70% of people prefer to order from a restaurant that has active social engagement on social media platforms. (source)
  3.  57% of Gen Z diners have tried a new restaurant based solely on positive feedback on social media. (source)
  4. Nearly 64% of restaurant guest gives importance to a loyalty program in determining their restaurant experience and regularity. (source)
  5. 86% of restaurant goers are interested in a loyalty program if it comes with discounts and coupons. (source)
  6. More than 50% of diners prefer to hear from the restaurant through email. They are more inclined to open a mail if it contains special offers and coupons. (source)
  7.  41% of restaurant goers check out restaurants’ social media before deciding on a new place to eat. (source)
  8. 55% of restaurateurs have started sending personalized offers through their marketing channels. (source)
  9. According to a Harvard Business School study, a one-star increase in Yelp online reviews increases restaurant revenue by 5-9%. (source)
  10. More than 86% of diners are willing to try a new restaurant based on the recommendation of a family member or their significant other. (source)
  11. 59% of diners agreed to skip a restaurant because of a negative online review. (source)

Restaurant Economy Statistics

  1. 62% of Gen Z prefer dining out at least once a week. (source)
  2.  Nearly 67% of restaurant revenue goes to wages and purchase expenses. (source)
  3. An average profitable restaurant enjoys a profit margin of up to 6%. (source)
  4. 45% of surveyed diners eat at a restaurant multiple times a week, while another 6% eat at a restaurant every single day. (source)
  5. Major restaurant industry sales are generated by third-party platforms. Grubhub generates 36% of total online orders through third-party applications. (source)
  6. The National Restaurant Association projected annual sales of the restaurant industry are projected to reach 997 billion dollars by 2023. This is 4% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). (source)
  7. According to the National Restaurant Association, the Restaurant Performance Index as recorded in June 2023 was 100.2. An index above 100 indicates an opportunity for growth for restaurants. (source)

Restaurant Promotion Statistics

  1. 67% of restaurateurs were willing to pay for social media ads in 2019. This number has significantly risen ever since. (source)
  2. 53% of restaurateurs consider spending on community, events and charity sponsors as a rewarding method for promotions. (source)
  3.  Facebook followed by Instagram and TikTok are the most popular platforms used by restaurateurs to market their businesses. Nearly, 91% of restaurants make use of Facebook for their promotion. (source)
  4. 47% of diners would prefer receiving birthday promotional coupons from their favorite restaurants. (source)
  5. More than 24% of restaurant professionals consider loyalty programs as the most crucial aspect of their retention strategy. (source)
  6. Nearly 32% of diners engage in loyalty programs at least once a week. (source)
  7. 23% of restaurant professionals reach out to a person directly to resolve negative feedback. (source)
  8. Only 15% of operators work on negative feedback when offering a performance review to front and back-of-the-house staff. (source)

Restaurant Industry Sales Statistics

  1. 68% of restaurant professionals review sales reports on a regular basis. (source)
  2. Restaurateurs reported that sales had reached 75% of pre-pandemic levels. (source)
  3. The average profit margins for the restaurants as recorded in 2023 was 10.6%. (source)
  4. Just by accurately managing the inventory, a restaurant could record up to a 24% increase in profit margin. (source)
  5. 97% of restaurants report using at least 1 online delivery platform for food delivery services. (source)
  6. 34% of operators offer direct online delivery through their website. (source)
  7. Amongst the different tipping methods, cash-out tips are the most popular with nearly 53% of restaurants using this model. (source)
  8. More than 50% of restaurants reported an increase in price by suppliers. This poses significant challenges. (source)
  9. On average, restaurant operators reported getting 25% of their business through online delivery. (source)

Restaurant Consumer Statistics

  1. Food quality followed by location and customer service are the factors of utmost importance when picking a restaurant to dine at. (source)
  2. Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to visit new restaurants compared to other generations. (source)
  3. The value of money is not as crucial a factor as considered by restaurateurs. Only 48% of people cited price value as their top 3 factors influencing the place to dine. (source)
  4. An average American earning $40,000-$50,000 annually spends about 12-15% of their income on dining out. (source)
  5. The average no-show rate after making a reservation stands at 20%. (source)
  6. 77% of consumers will visit a restaurant’s website before dining there or ordering food online. (source)
  7. 30% of consumers are spending $180 on restaurants each week in 2023. (source)
  8. The average American spends $2994 on restaurants annually. (source)
  9. While ordering food online, a consumer is more likely to order from a restaurant’s website than through a third-party site or app. (source)
  10. 33% of diners wouldn’t eat at a restaurant that has less than four stars. (source)
  11. 77% of consumers would like to read restaurant reviews of other customers rather than a professional critic. (source)
  12. Gen Z is the least forgiving of negative online reviews. 70% won’t visit a restaurant at all if they hear of a negative review from a friend. (source)
  13. 8 out of 10 millennials are willing to splurge on a restaurant for some innovative experience. (source)
  14. 55% of diners would not visit a restaurant if the wait time is longer than 30 minutes. (source)

Restaurant Payment Statistics

  1. Credit Card is the most preferred payment method while dining in and for getting takeouts. (source)
  2. 33% of restaurant professionals use a standalone payment solution while 66% reported using a POS-integrated payment solution. (source)
  3. Contactless payment is on the rise. 76% of restaurants added mobile pay and 66% added tap-to-pay payment options to their restaurant. (source)
  4. 36% of restaurant guests opt for digital receipts through either texts or mail. (source)
  5. 88% of guests prefer paying with a card for a fancy dinner. (source)

Restaurant Food Statistics

  1. 60% of guests are likely to visit a restaurant again for a great food experience. (source)
  2. Diners love breakfast. In fact, 55% of diners would order from a breakfast menu if it were available all day long. (source)
  3. 59% of GenZ is willing to visit a restaurant again for good food even when the service experience was not up to the mark. (source)
  4. 20% of restaurateurs reported a shortage of ingredients supply as their number one challenge in running a restaurant. (source)
  5. Vegetarian, vegan, nut-free, and gluten-free food trends are ruling the restaurant industry right now. However, 61% of guests don’t have any preference in this section. (source)
  6. High operating and food costs are the top challenge for more than 54% of restaurateurs. (source)
  7. 37% of restaurants display nutritional information of dishes on their menu, while 36% of restaurants plan to start doing that. (source)
  8. 24% of restaurants update their menu seasonally and nearly 31% of restaurants update their menu monthly. (source)
  9. 38% of restaurateurs use leftover ingredients from one recipe in the other. (source)
  10. 26% of a restaurant offers multiple food portion choices as a method of reducing food waste. (source)
  11. 65% of diners are more likely to eat healthy in a restaurant now than they would 2 years back. (source)
  12. 78% of diners would prefer eating at a restaurant that is locally sourcing the ingredients. (source)

Restaurant Technology Statistics

  1. 71% of restaurant owners plan on implementing complete contactless technology in the restaurant by 2023. (source)
  2.  63% of restaurateurs consider restaurant technologies such as gift card programs, digital ordering, and wifi most crucial for their business. (source)
  3. Each restaurant uses an average of 3 technology vendors to manage their back-office operations. (source)
  4.  78% of restaurant professionals consider credit card payment systems as the most crucial restaurant technology for the success of a business. (source)
  5. 76% of restaurateurs changed their POS system in the last year and 66% of those opted for a system with an integrated payment solution. (source)
  6. 81% of restaurants report using an online reservation system to manage their bookings. (source)
  7. 64% of restaurants earning more than $2M+ revenue a year are using restaurant scheduling software. (source)
  8. 61% of diners agree that a handheld tablet improves their guest experience. (source)
  9. 91% of restaurants have implemented automation in kitchen technology. (source)
  10. 33% of restaurateurs consider customer support to be of utmost importance when choosing a POS system. (source)
  11. 97% of operators are frustrated with the technical issues arising in payment processors. (source)

Too many numbers, right? Now draw some actionable plans using these figures for the profitability of your restaurant. Top Restaurant Chains, Types, and Franchises

Most popular and profitable restaurant types

Restaurants revolve around different concepts and types. Considering the current industrial trends, fast food restaurants followed by a cafe and food trucks are increasingly on the rise.

Let’s have a look at the most popular restaurant types in 2023.

  • Quick service restaurants: These fast food restaurants offer quick inexpensive meal options. These restaurants have limited seating and are frequently visited by people who prefer takeaways and drive-through quick pickups.
    Quick-service restaurants enjoy an average profit margin between 6-9%.
  • Fine dining restaurants: These restaurants offer an extensive selection of dishes and have a curated menu catering to different taste buds.
    These seated restaurant diners operate on a thin margin of 3-5%.
  • Cafe restaurants: Cafe restaurants are on the rise and are usually frequented by Gen Z, millennials, and youths.
    Cafes are profitable business ventures with a profit margin between 5-10%.
  • Full-service restaurants: A mix of fine dining and fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants offer a cozy environment for grabbing a quick bite.
    Full-service restaurants enjoy 6-9% profit margins in the US restaurant industry.
  • Buffet restaurants: Offers a variety of cuisines at an affordable rate. These are highly populated by families and patrons who love to enjoy large meals without going too expensive.
  • Food trucks: Food trucks serve a limited menu and usually have a specialty of their own to attract the crowd.
    The profit margins of a food truck span between 7-8%.
  • Bar restaurants: Bar restaurants with their upbeat food menu and curated collection of cocktails, beers, and wine make a perfect pick for people who love to spend quality time while dining out.
    Bars are highly profitable with profit margins spanning between 10-15%.

Top 10: Popular Restaurant franchises

Confused about which restaurant franchise to pick for your restaurant idea? Explore these top franchise picks in the USA and choose the best option for your restaurant business.

Franchise Customer Satisfaction Index Score
Chick-fil-A 85
Chipotle Mexican Grill 75
Arby’s 79
KFC 81
Subway 78
Panera Bread 75
Dunkin Donuts 79
Papa John’s 79
Indianapolis(IN) 80
Starbucks 78

Source: ACSI

Top 10: Popular Chain restaurants

Let’s have a look at these top chain restaurants in the USA and their penetration in the market.

Restaurant chain No. of outlets
Subway 24,798
Starbucks 14,825
McDonald’s 13,914
Dunkin Donuts 9,419
Pizza Hut 7,456
Burger King 7,327
Wendy’s 6,711
Taco Bell 6,588
Dominos 5,876
Dairy Queen 4406

Sources: Scrapehero

How These Stats Impact Restaurants

These statistics provide restaurateurs with detailed insights and clarity about what to do. To conclude this post, here are some key takeaways for you:

  • To succeed as a restaurant, you must offer digital ordering.
  • Restaurant technologies are crucial to delivering a satisfactory customer experience.
  • Smart menu curation is essential to stop the rising inventory prices from eating away at your profit margins.
  • Employee training and development are more important than ever for maintaining quality staff and retaining them longer.
  • Social Media Marketing is non-negotiable to promote and grow your business.
  • Innovative experiences will help attract the young high-ticket paying crowd.

We hope these statistics guide you in the right direction to make essential changes in your restaurant operations.

After all, only when you evolve and adapt will you thrive.

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About the Author

Kruti                                                       
            Shah

Kruti Shah

Kruti is a passionate and skilled writer with a knack for business management. She loves to talk and write about small business, startups, business growth, and planning. Besides writing, she loves to read and explore the world. Read more

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