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52 Important Food Industry Statistics: 2019 & 2020 Data Analysis and Market Share

Category: Research

The food industry is continuously growing. But with so many competitors, you have to know how to stay afloat at all times. Which is why it’s essential to keep an eye on relevant food industry statistics

To help you get an idea of what’s going on in the food industry, we put together some relevant research findings. Bookmark or save this report compilation, it’ll come in handy when you need to present data and proofs of concept on the food industry to your bosses, colleagues or clients.

food industry market data

1. General Restaurant Statistics

Managing a restaurant is more than just serving food. It also involves knowing how much is the food industry worth, and the food industry’s market size. With a good overview of everything happening in your business, you can plan well and execute right.

  • One million restaurants are currently in operation in the United States alone. (Restaurant)
  • Over 200 million US consumers went to a sit-down restaurant in 2018 (Statista, 2018)
  • 65% of restaurant guests like to control how much they tip, rather than adopt the tip-free movement. (7shifts 2018)
  • 13% of consumers are brand loyal to their preferred restaurants. (Facebook Business)
  • 48% of the average American’s food budget goes to restaurants (Original Review 2018)
  • 60% of restaurants that offer delivery generated incremental sales (Restaurant Business Online 2018)
  • The average American household spends an average of $3,0008 per year dining out (CNBC 2017)

source: 2017

2. Digital Marketing Statistics for Restaurants

Almost everybody has a smartphone. This is why it only makes sense for businesses to use the internet’s digital platform to get their business to where the people can easily notice you. 

  • 56% of traffic to food brand websites come from search engines, making SEO the best marketing strategy for their business. (bizjournals)
  • 88% of restaurants use a marketing service to advertise their store. ( 2019)
  • 90% of customers take the time to research a restaurant before dining. (Upserve 2019)

Additionally, when you pair your efforts with the best marketing system or CRM solution, you can then extend your reach and even grow your business with ease. 

Social media in the food industry

Social media use is at an all-time high at 243.6 million users in the United States last year. It is the current and future battlefield to gain customer trust.

  • Facebook ($6.28 CPM), Instagram ($5.68) and LinkedIn ($2 CPM) are the best ways to advertise your business at a low cost (smallbiztrends 2017)
  • 77% of Americans currently active on social media. (Statista)
  • 67% of restaurants pay for social media ads in 2019 (Toasttab)
  • 33% of restaurants use Instagram as their social media platform of choice (Hubspot 2018)

Utilizing social media in your marketing efforts, aided by a social media management tool, will give your customers a chance to reach out to you about their experience in your store, providing valuable food industry data in the process. 

Restaurant review statistics

User reviews are more than ever critical to your business today. Make sure you have a strategy to manage your online customers.

  • 92% of diners read restaurant reviews before visiting (Upserve, 2019)
  • 77% of restaurant-goers trust peer reviews rather than critic reviews (Upserve 2019)
  • 33% of consumers refuse to go to restaurants that have fewer than four stars on their reviews. (Upserve 2019)
  • 35% of diners say that online reviews help influence their decision when choosing a place to dine. (Toasttab)

peer reviews

3. Fast Food Industry Statistics

The fast food industry keeps growing despite the general public’s newfound surge to go organic and healthy. McDonald’s is the most popular in this field, no surprise there, although one data below puts it in an interesting perspective.

  • The fast food industry revenue in the US alone makes about $110 billion annually. (Staticbrain)
  • 50 million Americans eat fast food every day (Staticbrain)
  • A complete fast food meal is 37% of your daily calories (Static Brain)
  • McDonald’s is more recognized than the Christian Cross. (Marketingweek)
  • Fast food restaurants are expected to keep growing at 2% annually through 2020. (Statista)
  • There are nearly 200,000 fast food franchises in the US as of 2018 (Statista 2018)

Since fast food’s introduction in 1921, it has become one of America’s preferred ways to dine. One of the reasons service in these establishments is fast is thanks to their POS systems that keep lines short.

source: 2018

4. Retail Food Industry Statistics

Food manufacturers should pay attention, not only to what is changing, but what isn’t changing. International food products are popular with Millennials and grocery stores along with coupons aren’t going anywhere despite the online shopping revolution, for instance.

  • $1.22 billion was spent on ads for grocery stores in 2017 (Statista 2019)
  • 4.8 million people are currently employed in the grocery industry in the United States. (Brandon Gaille)
  • Grocery stores hold a 92.4% market share in traditional food store sales (Brandon Gaille)
  • 50% of US households spend $110 a week on food at their local supermarket (Brandon Gaille)
  • 21% of shoppers frequently use coupons for their food delivery purchases. (Brandon Gaille)
  • 79% of Millennials like to experiment with products from different countries (Global Data 2017)
  • Retail and grocery store industry earned a total of $660.6 billion in revenues in 2018 (Plunkett Research)
  • 50% of shoppers and diners prefer printed receipts, 36% digital receipts, and 14% don’t want a receipt at all. (Toasttab)

US grocery spending

The Packaged Food Industry Statistics

  • Packaged Food Industry is valued at $377 billion (Super Market News 2018)
  • Packaged food sales in the US reached $372.77 billion in 2017. (Brandon Gaille)

5. Food Industry Employee Statistics

The food industry is one of the employment cornerstones in the U.S. However, it has its own problems, not the least the high turnover rate and dearth in team bonding.

  • There are 15.1 million restaurant industry employees in the United States. (
  • 10% of the overall US workforce is in the restaurant industry. (
  • 70% of restaurant employees want hands-on training with their managers. (7shifts)
  • 40% of restaurant employees say there is a lack of team-building events and activities (Upserve 2019)
  • 1 in 3 Americans worked in a restaurant for their first job- 6 in 10 adults worked in a restaurant at some point. (
  • Restaurants in the US have a 75% turnover rate, an all-time high. (Toasttab)
  • 53% of restaurants in the US offer food safety and alcohol certification training. (Toasttab)

Everyone needs a job. Because of the food industry market size, it needs people to help keep it running. Nevertheless, no matter the size of your business, choosing one of the best HR solutions can help you recruit, screen, and evaluate potential employees.


6. Food Industry Tech Statistics

The majority of restaurants agree tech will improve the business. This statement is no clearer than when we look at the tech investments in this industry from mobile ordering to waiting tables to digital registries. Central to this is the adoption of software solutions for restaurant management, which provide support from point-of-sale transactions to staffing.

  • 80% of restaurants are turning to technology to reach more customers (
  • 6% of orders placed in restaurants are made via smartphones (fortune 2017)
  • 68% of customers say that a server tablet improves their experience (Fast Casual 2017)
  • Online grocery shopping is expected to be a $100 billion industry by 2020 (Supermarket News)
  • 37% of restaurant operators consider customer orders as the most crucial area of technology development. (
  • 81% of restaurants use an electronic register system (
  • Digital ordering and delivery saw a 300 % increase since 2014. (nrn 2016)
  • 45% of consumers agree that mobile ordering and loyalty programs make them more likely to do business with a store often. (nrn 2016)
  • 47% of restaurant owners say that if they had the resources, they would update or repair their current equipment (Toasttab)
  • Only 31% of restaurants offer a mobile payment option for their customers. (Toasttab)
  • 73% of diners say that restaurant technology helps improve their dining experience. (Toasttab)

Part of the food industry market growth is incorporating the top accounting software. And so, together with state-of-the-art hardware, it helps keep your business up and running smoothly. 

electronic register system

Most Popular Restaurant Management Software

  1. Upserve. Upserve, a restaurant point-of-sale software, has built-in payments and restaurant-grade terminals. Learn more in our full Upserve review.
  2. Clover. Clover is an integrated POS software that supports small and medium restaurants. Our Clover review touches on some of its key features.
  3. Sapaad. an affordable, user-friendly POS software designed for restaurants, cafes, and fast-food chains of all sizes and hosted in the cloud. We discuss more of its capabilities in our Sapaad review.
  4. Oracle Hospitality. Our Oracle Hospitality review details its features designed to help businesses in the hospitality industry streamline operations and elevate the guest experience.
  5. Revel Systems POS. An intuitive POS tool for re-shaping your business, whether in food or retail. Our Revel Systems POS review reveals its complete feature set.


Use the Numbers to Your Advantage

In conclusion, customers listen more to their peers than critics when deciding to visit restaurants for themselves. Furthermore, it’s important for restaurant owners to provide good service and food. As the customer’s experience will play a big role if they will return or not.

Meanwhile, promoting your business through social media is easier than ever. More people are checking their social media accounts daily, and so, posting relevant photos and posts about your service can help bring attention to your store. So, keep social media accounts active and answer any messages that come your way.

Lastly, to ensure customer satisfaction, offer the latest technology at your stores and place of business. Offer digital options that offer convenience to customers. For one, getting a top restaurant management system can go a long way in terms of faster service, smoother kitchen-waiting operation and more accurate reporting.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. From pitch deck to exit strategy, he is no stranger to project business hiccups and essentials. He has been involved in a few internet startups including a digital route planner for a triple A affiliate. His advice to vendors and users alike? "Think of benefits, not features."

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