Cook at home? Many say ‘heck no!’

January 14, 2008

The restaurant business is BIG business – Americans eat out approximately five times per week. Fast-food restaurants are the most popular eating establishments for breakfast and lunch, while fast-food and casual dining are the two most popular places for dinner. Ease, convenience and cost were among the top reasons consumers ordered value/combo meals at fast-food restaurants.

Restaurant Industry Overview

Sales: $558 billion
Locations: 945,000— serving more than 70 billion meal and snack occasions
Employees: 13.1 million — the industry is the largest employer besides government

Restaurant industry sales are expected to reach $558 billion in 2008—a 4.4 percent increase over 2007— and the industry will employ 13.1 million individuals in 945,000 restaurant and food-service outlets, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2008 Restaurant Industry Forecast. The industry will remain an economic powerhouse representing four percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and employing nine percent of the U.S. workforce. While 2008 will bring some economic challenges, consumers remain hungry for the variety, convenience and socialization restaurants provide.

  • Restaurant-industry sales are forecast to advance 5% in 2007 and equal 4% of the U.S. gross domestic product. The overall economic impact of the restaurant industry is expected to exceed $1.3 trillion in 2007, including sales in related industries such as agriculture, transportation and manufacturing.
  • Every dollar spent by consumers in restaurants generates an additional $2.34 spent in other industries allied with the restaurant industry.
  • Every additional $1 million in restaurant sales generates an additional 37 jobs for the nation’s economy.
  • Average unit sales in 2004 were $795,000 at full-service restaurants and $671,000 at limited-service restaurants.
  • The average household expenditure for food away from home in 2005 was $2,634, or $1,054 per person.



One Response to “Cook at home? Many say ‘heck no!’”

  1. Hillary Says:

    I’m guilty of supporting the restaurant industry a bit too much for my own good. Thanks for putting it all into perspective.

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