Restaurant Statistics 2023

Today's restaurant industry is as competitive and dynamic as ever before. With food-delivery services, online ordering platforms, and a variety of other technologies transforming the way restaurants operate, it is important for restaurant owners to stay informed of the latest industry trends. COVID-19 has also drastically impacted dining habits and the restaurant industry’s overall performance.

Looking at the restaurant industry last year and into the near future, here's a quick rundown of what you will read in this post, with numbers from reputable sources such as the National Restaurant Association, SquareUp, LightSpeed, and Statista:

  • Top Restaurant Statistics

  • The Economy and the Restaurant Industry Statistics

  • Restaurant Sales and Expenses Statistics

  • Dining and Restaurant Formats

  • Delivery Services Statistics

  • Restaurant Digitalization Statistics

  • Restaurant Employment Statistics

  • Restaurant Marketing Statistics

  • Restaurant Waste Statistics

  • Around the World - International Statistics

  • Top Restaurants Lists

Top Restaurant Statistics

  • Restaurants and bars in the U.S. have been on an expansion for 24 consecutive months in December 2022, adding 26,300 jobs in that month alone. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022)

  • Over 88% of restaurants plan to expand their core restaurant offerings over the next 12 months. (SquareUp, 2023)

  • 65% view non-core offerings as necessary for diversifying revenue and growing their brand. (SquareUp, 2023)

  • Inflation remains a global issue, and the food and beverage industry is feeling the impact of rising costs for food and supplies. Almost 37% of surveyed merchants consider inflation their biggest challenge in 2023, most of whom are in the UK (47%), France, and Germany (both at 41%). (LightSpeed, 2022)

  • Most restaurant industry diners and consumers (88%) understand that inflation and the rising cost of goods are reasons enough to adjust the pricing accordingly. (SquareUp, 2023)

  • 44% of diners in the U.S. and Canada are now dining out at least once a week. 72% say they dine out at least once a month or more. (TouchBistro, 2023)

  • 55% of 466 restaurants in the U.S. expressed that they will adopt new technologies this year. (Popmenu, 2022)

  • 60% of these restaurants plan to automate more online functions in 2023, up from 51% in 2022, and 49% plan to automate more on-premise functions in 2023, up from 41% in 2022. (Popmenu, 2022)

  • 38% plan to automate operations tasks such as ordering, inventory control, and scheduling to increase staff efficiency. (SquareUp, 2023)

  • 67% of US consumers prefer to use a restaurant's own app or website for delivery, instead of a third-party delivery app. (Statista, 2021)

  • The food service industry contributed $876.3 billion to the U.S. economy in 2021, up from a record-low of $621.48 billion in 2020. (Statista, 2021)

The Economy and the Restaurant Industry Statistics

The restaurant industry faces a number of challenges in the coming years, from staffing and operational issues to finding ways to stay competitive.

  • 29% of restaurant operators are considering increasing prices as they prepare for an anticipated recession in 2023. (SquareUp, 2023)

  • Additionally, 36% of restaurateurs plan to reduce dining room hours and 30% might lay off staff or hold off on filling open positions. (SquareUp, 2023)

  • Consumers will remain resilient, as eating and drinking sales continue to grow. In January, registered total sales reached $95.5 billion, up from $89 billion in December. (National Restaurant Association, 2023)

Restaurant Industry Sales and Menu Statistics

Restaurant sales statistics continue to show interesting trends, from increasing demand for beverages and creative experiences to the expanding world of healthy food products.

  • In 2022, beverages took center stage across menus in the US. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic recorded the highest year-on-year growth rates. Liqueur was the most popular across all restaurant types, with a 39% growth y-o-y. (LightSpeed, 2022)

  • Sober socialization is a growing trend primarily among Gen Z, with 96% of food and beverage brands reporting that customers are increasingly looking for non-alcoholic drinks. (Technomic, 2022)

  • 84% of customers say they look up a restaurant's online menu before deciding to order. (TouchBistro, 2023)

  • 62% of customers in the U.S. and 65% in Canada are seeking out local and independent restaurants. (TouchBistro, 2023)

  • 54% of consumers said that they've purchased retail items or experiences from a restaurant business or restaurants they haven't tried before. (SquareUp, 2023)

  • 41% of consumers have purchased other non-core items, such as premade frozen meals, meal or cocktail kits, and online cooking classes. (SquareUp, 2023)

  • 87% of U.S. restaurants have raised menu prices. (National Restaurant Association, 2023)

  • 46% of diners say that higher menu prices would somewhat influence their decisions, while 27% say increased prices would only have a slight impact. (TouchBistro, 2023)

  • Many fast-food chains are expected to continue introducing new healthy alternatives and expanding their product lines. Plant-based meat, for example, is expected to be worth $8.35 billion by 2024. (Kline, 2023)

Dining and Takeout Statistics

  • The number of businesses labeled as a "single location full-service restaurant" in the US has grown 2.0% per year on average over the five years between 2018 - 2023. (IBISWorld, 2023)

  • There are 201,865 fast food or quick service restaurant businesses in the U.S. (IBISWorld, 2023)

  • In the U.S., 53% of consumers dine with their families, 52% with their spouse or significant other, 33% with their friends, and 19% alone. (TouchBistro, 2023)

  • Curbside or in-store pickup is the most popular takeout option (35% for both the U.S. and Canada), in the face of increasing delivery fees.

  • Popular restaurant chains, like Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks, are opening more drive-thru-only locations in the near future. (QSRMagazine, 2022)

  • The fastest drive-thru time for a quick-service restaurant was recorded at Taco Bell with an average of 221.99 seconds. (Statista, 2022)

Delivery Services Statistics

The rise of delivery services and digital ordering platforms has revolutionized the restaurant industry, and it will continue to disrupt the industry. However, the face of online food delivery is also changing.

  • Mobile food services account for as much as 55% of all food spending in the US and as low as 15 to 20% in underdeveloped countries. (Future Market Insights, 2023)

  • In January 2023, DoorDash and its subsidiary Caviar made up 65% of meal delivery sales in the US. (Bloomberg Second Measure, 2023)

  • With the growth of online food delivery, ghost kitchens will also continue to grow. By 2030, ghost kitchens are predicted to make up 50% of the share of both the drive-thru and takeaway food service markets. (Statista, 2022)

  • But while delivery remains a major part of the restaurant industry, it may be facing a decline as third-party food delivery apps see less populaity. DoorDash experienced a 67.9% loss in stock values in 2022, which may point to customers using delivery aggregators less in the coming years. (PYMNTS, 2022)

  • Food delivery, nonetheless, will continue to grow. Its value is expected to grow to $43 billion by 2025. (Business of Apps, 2023)

Restaurant Technology Statistics

  • 36% of restaurant operators agree that expanded online ordering has improved their business the most, compared to other value-adding techs, such as QR code ordering and restaurant management systems. (LightSpeed, 2022)

  • More restaurants are utilizing mobile and online technologies, such as AI-based virtual assistants, automated ordering, and customer loyalty programs. 79% of consumers agree that kiosks help make ordering easier for them. (SquareUp, 2023)

  • 65% of customers said they would visit a restaurant more often if self-service kiosks were offered. (Tillster, 2020)

Restaurant Employment Statistics

  • With the growth in the number of jobs amid increasing demand, restaurant operators continue to grapple with a shortage of workers. As many as 2 million roles remain unfilled as of February 2023. (Washington Post, 2023)

  • 19% of restaurant operators are delaying recruitment. (National Restaurant Association, 2023)

  • 57% are poised to lay off staff during the second half in 2H23 in the event of a recession. (National Restaurant Association, 2023)

  • 32% have already eliminated some positions. (National Restaurant Association, 2023)

  • 89% of full-service restaurant operators report that their current staffing levels are below normal. (National Restaurant Association, 2021)

  • The average cost of replacing a restaurant employee is $5,864: pre-departure = $176, recruiting = $1,173, selection = $645, orientation and training = $821, productivity loss = $3,049. (Toast, 2021)

Restaurant Marketing Statistics

  • 57% of restaurants offer rewards and loyalty programs. (Paytronix and PYMNTS, 2022)

  • 41% of consumers are encouraged to buy from restaurants with loyalty programs. (Paytronix and PYMNTS, 2022)

  • 75% of those who read reviews in the U.S. say they read more online reviews now than ever before. (Yelp, 2021)

  • 97% of respondents believe that written reviews, along with a star rating, are the most helpful type of local business online review. (Yelp, 2021)

  • 45% of U.S. diners try a restaurant for the first time after seeing social media posts. (QSRMagazine, 2o19)

  • 42% of diners have interacted with restaurants via social media on at least one platform. (QSRMagazine, 2019)

  • 30% of millennial diners prefer not to try a restaurant if it does not have a good Instagram presence. (SocialMediaToday, 2020)

  • TikTok influences over 50% of millennials when it comes to supporting a restaurant or food brand. 42% visit because of a unique menu item, while a similar percentage visit because the place "looked fun." (Business of Apps, 2022)

Restaurant Expenses Statistics

  • Most restaurant operators do not expect to see increased profits this year, except for 16% of them. 50% think they will make less money due to soaring inflation. (National Restaurant Association, 2023)

  • The top three cost centers for restaurant operators are labor, food, and energy. Inventory or food costs remain the top expense for restaurant operators. (Touch Bistro, 2023)

  • Food costs typically range from 28% to 35% of total restaurant costs. This increases when food is lost or spoils. (Oracle, 2021)

Restaurant Food Waste Statistics

  • The U.S. is widely regarded as the world's leading producer of food waste. Approximately 40 million tons of food waste are generated in the country, of which restaurants, grocery stores, and food service companies account for 40%.

  • Too Good to Go, an app focused on minimizing food waste in restaurants, reported that it had saved 52 million meals globally in 2021. (Too Good To Go, 2021)

  • 181,138 food businesses in the U.S. are using Too Good To Go to reduce their leftovers. (Too Good To Go, 2023)

Around the World

Restaurants around the world are embracing different technologies and marketing strategies to stay competitive.

  • The global online food delivery market is valued at $130.2 billion, with a projected increase to $223.7 billion by 2027. (Statista, 2023)

  • The ghost kitchen market is estimated at $56.71 billion worldwide. China is the country with the most ghost kitchens worldwide. (Statista, 2023)

  • The global food tech market is forecast to exceed $342 billion dollars by 2027. This is due to advancing technologies and increasing demand for healthier, cheaper, and safer food products. (Statista, 2023)

  • 53% of global POS transactions will be contactless in the next five years. The global value of contactless payments would have increased by 300% ($2 trillion to $6 trillion). (Juniper, 2020)

  • Around the world, food waste generated per year can feed 1.26 billion hungry people. (FAO, 2022)

Top Restaurants Lists

Brand Directory lists the world's top 10 restaurants, according to market valuation:

  • Starbucks ($45,699M)

  • McDonald's ($39,721M)

  • KFC ($17,623M)

  • Domino's Pizza ($7,257M)

  • Subway ($7,054M)

  • Taco Bell ($6,331M)

  • Pizza Hut ($5,896)

  • Dunkin' ($4,787M)

  • Wendy's ($4,760M)

  • Haidilao ($4,656M)

Most of the restaurants in the top 25 are headquartered in the U.S., except for the following restaurants or food brands: Haidilao (#10, China), Tim Hortons (#11, Canada), Costa (#17, U.K.), Jollibee, (#22, Philippines), Greggs (#25, U.K.).

Bon Appetit ranked America's top 10 restaurants in 2022, based on nominations and in no particular order:

  • Baba's Pantry, Kansas City

  • Bocadillo Market, Chicago

  • Cafe Mutton, New York

  • Canje, Austin

  • Daytrip, Oakland

  • Irwin's, Philadelphia

  • República, Portland

  • Semma, New York

  • Supperland, Charlotte

  • Yangban Society, Los Angeles

Statista ranks Ruth's Chris Steak House as the leading fine dining chain restaurant in the U.S. in terms of sales ($636 million in 2021). Other fine-dining restaurants with top sales are The Capital Grille and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.

OpenTable also launched its Top 100 list, featuring restaurants like Abe & Louie's, Campiello, Dominick's Steakhouse, Le Diplomate, The Hampton Social, and The Plantation House Restaurant.