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75 Significant Restaurant Statistics: 2019 & 2020 Analysis of Data & Market Share

Category: B2B News

The restaurant industry is no slouch when it comes to variety. They range from selling a dollar meal to the masses to serving the most expensive food. So why is it that there’s such a great divide among restaurants when it comes to success? How is this industry so alive and thriving for some and not for others? And how will it fare in the years to come? These restaurant statistics compilation may provide an answer to all these and more.

By reading this article, you will, at the very least, get informed about the industry. But we hope that you can use the following information as a guide to help you with your business. The statistics provided here are also useful for marketers, app developers, and food lovers.

key restaurant statistics

Market Statistics

The 2019 Restaurant Industry Factbook of National Restaurant Association shows a very interesting piece of information. It says that the projected sales of restaurant industry will hit a whopping $863 billion this year. With this number alone, it’s safe to assume that the industry is growing. Booming for the most part, in fact. There are currently over a million restaurants in the US and more are expected to come. Especially due to the fact that Americans spend 51% of their food budget on restaurants. Compared to 25% in 1955, this year is definitely a better time for the food industry. Here are more restaurant data to prove how successful this sector is:

  • 52% of the consumers prefer to spend money on an experience, such as a restaurant. Hence, they’d rather go out and eat than purchasing a new item. (
  • 4% – The part of 2019 US gross domestic product that comes from the restaurant industry. (
  • 4.9% – The projected growth rate of limited-service restaurants in 2019 (
  • 3.3% – The projected growth rate of table-service restaurants in 2019 (
  • 16.9 million – the number of employment that restaurants would generate by 2029. (
  • 60% of adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point during their lives. (
  • 33% of Americans got their first job experience in a restaurant. (

restaurant industry worth

Restaurant Technology Statistics

The restaurant industry could not be as successful as it is right now. Not if it wasn’t able to leverage the tremendous technological growth which enveloped our lifestyle. Most diners have modernized with time, or at least used technological innovations on some of their processes. Thus, they are enjoying a variety of edges. Some of them include appeal to younger audience, wider coverage of promotions and smarter business decision. The leading POS solutions, for one, add a lot to the business process in terms of compliance and convenience. Other benefits, together with how specifically effective they are, are shown below:

  • 95% of restaurant owners observed an increase in their business efficiency by embedding technology in their process. (
  • 73% of guests believe that technology adds more to their dining experience. (
  • 80% of restaurants are utilizing various types of technologies to aid them in running their business more efficiently. Examples of such include tools for online reservations, ordering, inventory and analytics. (
  • 52% of online traffic worldwide was produced through mobile phones. (
  • 18 million adults in the US will be using a grocery app this year (
  • 41% of restaurants use handheld server tablets currently or will in the future. (
  • 68% of customers note that the use of server tablets improve their restaurant experience. (
  • 44% of consumers say they used a restaurant website or app to place a food order. This is true for both delivery and takeout food during the past year. (

Features of apps and devices

Clearly, there are serious advantages in utilizing applications or devices that improve the services offered by restaurants. You might be an app developer or an operator wanting to understand the benefits of restaurant management system to your business. In that case, there’s one thing you should always consider. Having features that target smaller audiences is a plus. But having functionalities that cater to the needs and wants of many is a must. Here’s a list of a few restaurant market report statistics. Hopefully, it’ll assist you in determining which functions must be present in the app you’re developing or choosing:

  • 76% of restaurant owners are looking for labor management features in a restaurant POS. (
  • 45% of consumers use an online ordering service more often if it offers mobile ordering or loyalty programs. (
  • 65% of diners prefer to have control on the amount of the tips they give. Thus, a flexible tipping feature is more desired than tip-free movement or auto-gratuities. (
  • 54% of guests say that online reservation is the most important technology feature. Likewise, 41% say it’s free Wi-Fi. (

Features that customer and restaurant owners want in a restaurant app

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Source: Toast

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Economy Statistics

It’s true that no business is set to a sure path of success. Therefore, knowing vital details about the ones you’re investing in is a big deal. There’s a ton of economic factors to consider when entering the food industry, such as a restaurant. Demography, availability of raw materials and competition to name a few . People who are planning to have their very own restaurants might be indecisive. They’re not sure if it’s a good idea or not. The next set of restaurant market size statistics could, among other factors, help in making decisions.

  • 90% of consumers say that going to restaurants is enjoyable. (
  • 75% of consumers feel like dining out with family or friends on their leisure time, as opposed to cooking their own food and cleaning afterwards. (
  • 45% of diners go out at least twice a week to eat and once a week for 20% of consumers. (
  • 40% of consumers treat restaurants as part of their lifestyle. (
  • 12.6% of an American’s income is used on food. And of those, 48% goes to restaurants (
  • Most restaurants will not see a profits until they reach their second year of operation (
  • 3% – 5% profit margins are what most restaurants gain. (
  • 91% of restaurant owners expect revenue to increase in 2019 (

American restaurant budget

Industry Challenge Statistics

As with every industry, restaurants are also constantly battling with problems to thrive. Those troubles come in different shapes and sizes. Generally, they could bring serious damage if left unchecked. Restaurant market research indicates that high operating costs and staffing are the main challenges diners are facing. Here’s a more detailed statistics about that:

  • 52% of restaurateurs point to the high costs of operation and food as their top challenges. (
  • 51% of restaurant owners name staffing as their biggest challenge to success. (
  • 35% of restaurant operators say that training staff is their greatest issue. (
  • 31% of restaurateurs say that retaining their staff is their biggest problem. (
  • 1 month and 26 days – The average tenure of restaurant workers. (
  • 37% of the members of National Restaurant Association report shortage of workers (
  • 30% of restaurateurs cite staffing as a challenge. (
  • $2000 – The cost of hiring and training a new staff member. For a new manager, it’s $15000 . No wonder turnover is such a big issue for restaurant owners. (


Online Marketing Statistics

What good is a food, no matter how tasty, if no one knows about it? Competition in the restaurant industry is fierce, more so than ever. So making sure your business is known by the masses is the bare minimum requirement for keeping afloat. There’s a variety of ways to do it. However, the method that has really gained traction over the years is online promotion. It can be achieved in different ways as well. Making a dedicated website or app for instance. You could also take advantage of reviews and leverage social media using reputation management software. Take a look at this statistics to see why online promotion is a force to be reckoned in marketing.

  • 90% of guests make research a restaurant online before actually going there. This is a practice done more in this business type compared to others. (
  • 12.5% of diners will post a review about the restaurant after their meal. (
  • 75% of consumers will not visit a restaurant whose cleanliness reviews are negative. (
  • 33% of diners won’t eat in restaurants whose online rating is lower than 4-stars in review sites. Examples of which include Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google. (
  • 56% of franchise restauranteurs think that reviews are more important influencers of traffic. Thus, valuing them more than traditional advertising. (
  • 92% of diners read restaurant reviews. (
  • 77% of consumers look up more on peer reviews compared to critic reviews. (

online marketing statistics

Social Media

Online reviews on sites like Yelp are good ways to promote your business. It’s also a good motivation for ensuring high quality standards. Because you don’t want the public to see negative reviews about your establishment. You’ll need to use a powerful platform that  truly make use of the internet: social media. According to Brandwatch, there are 3.03 billion active users on social media. That’s a staggering number, insane if you actually think about it. If you’re still not convinced that it’s the platform to focus advertising on, no big deal. Here’s a few social media restaurant statistics to help make up your mind:

  • 91% of retail brands have 2 or more channels on social media. (
  • 71% of customers are more likely to recommend a company that quickly replies on their social media messages. (
  • 67% of restaurants are planning to use social media advertisement in 2019. (
  • 20% – 40% – The likelihood that customers will spend time in restaurants that they have engaged on social media. (


Undoubtedly the most popular and most-used social media platform. You and practically everyone you know has an account on it. This is the sea with the biggest number of fish.

  • 72% use Facebook in making retail or restaurant decisions. This is through the images and comments shared by other users. (
  • Restaurant diners are more likely to leave high ratings on Facebook compared to other review sites. (
  • 92% of restaurants are using Facebook for social media branding and marketing. (


It’s true that Facebook is the most used social media platform. Twitter users, however, have the highest level of engagement with restaurants compared to all other industries.

  • 32% – The share of food and drinks on all brand mentions in Twitter. This is the highest compared to other industries (17% for clothing and 11% for technology). (
  • 52% of guests said that they visited a restaurant because of promotional offers and discounts found on twitter. (


Food appeals to eyes as much as they do to our tummies. Capturing a photo of a food before consuming it has become a practice in the past few years. And it shows no sign of stopping.

  • 260 million+ Instagram posts uses the hashtag #food. (
  • 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business. This can translate into engagement because of the platform’s 2.2% per-follower interaction rate. (
  • 21.4 – The engagement ratio of fast food brands on Instagram. (
  • 18.4 – The engagement ratio of full-service restaurants on Instagram. (

Food Orders Statistics

Restaurants have lots of variants, atmospheres and uniqueness in them. But one thing remains the same, your customers are mainly there for your food. Thus, most of your efforts must be exerted on the type and quality of food your establishment serves. We have compiled here a bunch of statistics. Hopefully, this could give you an idea or two about the food you want your restaurant to serve.

  • 61% of consumers pick healthier foods at restaurants compared to their choices two years ago. (
  • 55% of consumers say they’re more likely to order breakfast items if they’re available all day long. (
  • 41% of diners would buy meal kits to prepare at home if the restaurants they frequent offer them. (
  • 149% – The increase in the number of orders of fermented foods in the Upserve customer menus. (
  • 67% – of consumers said that their favorite flavors are those that they can’t duplicate at home. (
  • 72% of diners visit a particular restaurant because of their high food quality. Only 48% said value was their main motivation. (

Top Factors that make customers choose a restaurant in 2019

Top Factors that make customers choose a restaurant in 2019
Availability of locally-sourced food: 62

Availability of locally-sourced food

Top Factors that make customers choose a restaurant in 2019
Discount offered for dining at off-peak hours: 56

Discount offered for dining at off-peak hours

Top Factors that make customers choose a restaurant in 2019
Walking distance from home: 56

Walking distance from home

Top Factors that make customers choose a restaurant in 2019
Availability of environment-friendly food: 51

Availability of environment-friendly food

Top Factors that make customers choose a restaurant in 2019
Reward and customer loyalty program: 50

Reward and customer loyalty program

Top Factors that make customers choose a restaurant in 2019
Tableside electronic ordering and payment options: 26

Tableside electronic ordering and payment options



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Top Restaurant Management Software

  1. Toast POS is a system that lets you process orders and payments as well as oversee the behind-the-scene workflows, such as those in the kitchen. Other than that, it has tools that can help your restaurant business thrive.
  2. TouchBistro is an iPad-based restaurant POS. Despite the name, it is a solution that helps you manage your menu, order processing, and kitchen workflow.
  3. Oracle Food and Beverage offers a wide range of functionalities that let you set up kiosks, manage the kitchen, and control costs. It also aids in streamlining the overall restaurant management process.
  4. Lavu is a mobile POS that packs a comprehensive set of tools that enables you to control every facet of your restaurant. With this, you can revolutionize the service (and food) you provide to diners.
  5. Restaurant Inspection Review is a forms automation platform that empowers you to be compliant. Using this, you can gather data intelligently to help you stick to regulations and to be accountable for their tasks.

Millennials Preference Statistics

Why bother with this certain demography of people? That’s because millennials have finally surpassed the baby boomers in terms of buying power. This generation is projected to become the largest part of the American demographic in 2019. 54% of them go out at least thrice a week to eat according to So marketing to them should increase your bottomline. We took a peek at the various restaurant market research geared towards Generation Y or millennials. And here are some statistics that show their preference.

  • 79 % of millennials enjoy experimenting with products from various countries or cultures. (
  • 78% of millennials say they would rather spend money on experience, such as a restaurant. That’s in opposition to purchasing items from store. (
  • 54% of millennials believe that self-ordering kiosks provide better guest experience. (
  • 99% – The likelihood that millennials and Gen Zers are going to rely on online reviews and social media. That’s in comparison to Baby Boomers and Gen X. (
  • 53% of millennials look for new experiences when picking a place to eat. (

restaurant review preference of millennials and gen z

Payment Statistics

Payment is a very important (and exciting) process for businesses. Because of this, looking for ways to improve them is a good investment. Through the statistics presented below, we hope that you’d get a better grasp of the implementation of the payment process, especially if you’re yet to consider mobile payment systems. You can also use the following data to add or remove features to further enhance your business.

  • 62% of guests use debit or credit cards when paying for low-ticket items, such as coffee. (
  • 88% of guests use their cards when paying for high-ticket items like fancy dinner. (
  • 49% of restaurant operators thinks that mobile payment option is a must-have technology for diners. (
  • 31% of restaurants use mobile payment option. (


Order Delivery Statistics

Delivery of food straight to homes isn’t a new practice. However, it certainly gained a lot more attention during the past few years. According to, digital delivery and ordering has grown around 300% faster compared to dine-in traffic from 2014. Reasons for this vary, such as the rise of online ordering systems. Services dedicated to food deliveries have also become prominent. So, should a restaurant enter the fray as well? You won’t be the first if you do. Look at these statistics derived from various restaurant market analyses. From these, you’ll see if adding a delivery service to your repertoire is a good idea.

  • 60% of US consumers order food either for takeout or delivery at least once a week. (
  • 70% of consumers say they’d prefer to order from restaurants directly. Instead of having some of the fee go to third-party apps. (
  • 63% of consumers find food delivery to be more convenient than going out with the family to dine. (
  • 38% of customers are more likely to order restaurant food for delivery than they would have two years ago. (
  • 60% of restaurant owners said that delivery has produced incremental sales. (

food delivery statistics

It is a Multi-Faceted Industry

Restaurants aren’t the easiest things in the world to run. They have oddities not found in other businesses, as shown in the restaurant industry statistics presented here. For this reason, one must always be on the lookout for developments in the food industry. A lot of things must be watched out for. On the bright side, it also means that a lot of things can be used for your gain.

Take advantage of social media to learn what your consumers really want. Offer healthy foods. Extend your functionality by joining a delivery service network. Make your menu appealing to millennials and more people. Integrate technology like the best restaurant management software into your processes. Also, read useful articles, such as this relevant POS statistics. This is beneficial in case you want to install a POS solution at your restaurant. Prepare foods that will surely be loved by your target consumers. All these and a lot more can be done to supercharge your business.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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