Everyone loves a good meal, but it’s no surprise that being a restaurant owner can come with its share of challenges. If you’re looking to get into the restaurant business, here are a few restaurant statistics to keep in mind and help you shape your strategy.
1. There are more than 1 million restaurants in the United States alone
Mexican, Italian, Asian and beyond ― there are almost too many types of cuisine to count in the U.S. However, the market continues to provide growth opportunity, especially in certain types of restaurants.
2. Limited-service restaurants are expected to grow at a rate of 4.9% in 2019
While table-service restaurants are projected to grow at only 3.3%, limited-service places are predicted to expand at more than a percentage point more. Casual settings and fast service seem to be trending for 2019, according to this restaurant statistic.
3. American consumers spend 12.6% of their income on food
The American appetite is not to be underestimated. More than 1/8 of the average U.S. income is spent on food ― slightly less than is spent on transportation. This includes money spent in restaurants as well as grocery stores.
4. Of those American dollars that are spent on food, 48% of that goes to restaurants
Almost half of family food budgets in the U.S. are spent on restaurants. Because many families are busy and one or both parents work, it’s often faster and less stressful to eat out than to meal prep every meal, so restaurants are a popular choice for the U.S. family.
5. 3 out of 5 U.S. consumers order food for delivery or takeout once a week or more
The only thing better than a meal is a convenient meal, and with advances in connective technology, ordering food is easier and more affordable than ever. Restaurant statistics show that the majority of Americans order delivery or takeout at least once a week, so establishments that offer this option or cooperate with food delivery services are bound to see an uptick in sales.
6. The demand for functional health foods is increasing at a rapid rate
Data has shown that there has been a surge in health foods offered at restaurants, from fermented foods for gut health, which saw an increase of 149%, and cannabidiol-infused foods, which rose at 99% in 2018. If you’re looking for a way to expand your restaurant offerings while reaching a wider audience, this statistic shows that functional health foods are the way to go.
7. There will be 1.6 million new restaurant jobs by 2028
In the next decade, we’ll see over a million new jobs created from the restaurant industry alone. This means that it’s important to be refining your recruitment methods and working on providing the best environment and opportunities for your employees.
8. 37% of National Restaurant Association members report a shortage of workers
Many restaurants have had difficulty keeping their wages competitive with other industries, which has in turn made retaining workers a challenge. Offering incentive programs or broadening search criteria may be necessary for restaurants to attract and keep talent.
9. The average tenure of a restaurant worker is less than 2 months
Turnover is costly, and sadly, restaurants experience it all too frequently. With the average tenure of restaurant employees clocking in at one month and 26 days, it’s increasingly important for managers and owners to carefully consider each hire and offer specific incentives to retain skilled workers and decrease turnover.
10. 73% of diners think that technology enhances their dining experience
From easy credit card transactions to tablets at tables, if the technology is there to streamline the experience, diners are on board. Updating your technology is a cost-effective and important way to make sure your visitors have the best possible meal and will return next time.
11. In 2017, the U.S. restaurant industry brought in nearly $800 billion in revenue
From 2016 to 2017, restaurant food and drink sales in the U.S. rose nearly 5%, making the total revenue $798 billion. The restaurant industry has progressively risen over the past decade, providing plenty of opportunities for new restaurateurs to emerge.
12. Most restaurants have a 3% to 5% profit margin
While profit margins in restaurants can range anywhere from 0-15%, the average is 3-5%. If your profit margin isn’t measuring up, you can make efforts to increase your sales, or decrease your costs and overheads.
13. Many restaurants will not make a profit until their second year of operation
If you’re starting from the ground floor, you’re going to have quite a few expenses racking up as you get up and running. However, most restaurants begin to turn a profit after about two years. So, if you’ve just opened and things are still in the red, don’t panic. Follow best restaurant business practices and wait for your ship to come in.
14. 92% of restaurants use Facebook for social media marketing and branding
When it comes to social media outreach, restaurants are most likely to use Facebook. Facebook provides an opportunity for branding, interaction with customers, and lead generation ads, making it a useful tool for emerging restaurants.
15. 48% of restaurateurs use YouTube or are planning to begin outreach via this platform
We live in the age of video marketing. As video content grows in popularity, it’s no surprise that restaurant owners are seeing an opportunity to grow their brand and reach new audiences via the YouTube platform. However, your video outreach doesn’t have to start with YouTube. It can start with sharing video content on your current platforms and grow as your response does.
16. Customers who engage with restaurant brands on social media generally spend 20% to 40% more in those restaurants
It’s nothing new ― people love personal engagement. When you take time to respond to complaints, answer questions, and interact with your audience on social media platforms, people take notice. This restaurant statistic shows that better engagement means a stronger, more personal brand, so if your restaurant doesn’t have a social media presence, this is your year to begin one.
17. 9 out of 10 restaurant managers started their careers in entry-level positions
The majority of restaurant managers tend to rise through the ranks to achieve their positions. For owners, this means that it’s especially important to look out for talented individuals who show a knack for leadership. Your next manager could already be right in front of you.
18. 1 in 5 restaurants donates extra food to charities
Philanthropy and sustainability are increasingly important to most consumers as well as businesses. Many restaurants are encouraging this trend by giving away edible extras to homeless shelters and other charities, which decreases waste while helping those in need.
19. Half of consumers say that a restaurant’s sustainability influences whether or not they dine there
Does your restaurant recycle? Compost or donate leftovers? Make efforts to use recycled materials? If so, this can be a factor in bringing in more loyal customers. Consumers are conscientious about the environment, and if you show that you are as well, they will be more inclined to patronize your restaurant.
Running a restaurant is an all-encompassing project, and with the help of these restaurant statistics, it can be a rewarding one. Keep a sharp eye on what types of food and marketing methods are trending so that you always have one finger on the pulse of your customer and remember to keep it fun.