Economic Impact of Restaurant Industry


To determine the impact of the restaurant industry on the US economy, the percentage of the US workforce employed by restaurants, and the number of family owned restaurants in the United States.

Early Findings

  • According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurants account for 51% of the food dollar in the US.
  • The dollar value of the economic impact of the restaurant industry on the US economy is $2.5 trillion.
  • Total sales for 2020 is projected at $899 million from the over one million restaurants in the US. This is $36 billion more than what was projected for 2019.
  • Commercial restaurant services account for $828.8 billion and are derived from eating places ($617.5 billion), bars and taverns ($22.8 billion), and other ($188.7 billion).
  • Non-Commercial restaurant sales will account for $66.9 billion, and military restaurant services will account for $3 billion.
  • The industry is projected to employ 15.6 million persons in 2020.
  • Based on the figure of 157,538,000 employed persons from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, this represents 9.9% of the current US workforce.
  • Over the next decade, the industry is expected to add 1.6 million jobs.
  • An initial search for data did not provide statistics on the number of family-owned restaurants in the US, however, a 2017 report from Pentallect Inc., revealed that independent restaurants rated higher than chain restaurants in 12 of the 15 survey attributes, including for offering personalized service, offering consistent quality, and for being community oriented.

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