Thinking of Opening Your Own Restaurant? Think About These 10 Stats

Always dreamed of opening your own restaurant?  Learn more about the market and your competition by checking out these U.S. restaurant industry statistics.

  1. There are 998,000 restaurant locations in the U.S. Source
  2. Restaurant-industry sales projected for 2013 are over $660 billion. Source
  3. Employees in the restaurant industry number 13.1 million. Source
  4. Restaurants are expected to add 1.3 million new positions in the next decade. Source
  5. The consumers of the U.S. restaurant industry declined from 62.7 billion in 2008 to 60.6 billion in 2011. Independent restaurants accounted for 87 percent of these traffic losses.
  6. Source Thinking of opening your own restaurant?Source

  7. Since 2008, restaurant chains have increased by 4511 units while the number of independent restaurant decreased by 7158 units. Source
  8. In 2007, the full-service restaurants in Washington, D.C. reported the highest sales per business ($1.7 million), while it was the lowest in South Dakota ($565 thousand). The national average was $847 thousand. Source
  9. About 4 out of 10 restaurant customers say they would be likely to use an electronic ordering system and menus on tablet computers at table service restaurants. Source
  10. 76 percent of consumers say they are trying to eat healthier now at restaurants than they did two years ago. Source
  11. According to a report by Hudson Institute, restaurants that offered more lower-calorie services experienced a 9 percent increase in food and beverage sales from 2006 to 2011. Restaurants that offered fewer low-calorie services saw sales drop by 16 percent. Source (.pdf)

For more information about the Restaurant Industry Forecast in 2013, including graphics and video, visit

In addition to the aforementioned statistics about the restaurant industry in the U.S. market, those willing to launch their own restaurants may find the following study very interesting.  This study conducted by Parsa at Cornell University, Why Restaurant Fail (.pdf) explores the reasons for restaurant failures in the U.S.

Elmira Hamidi is a researcher for Handshake 2.0, a graduate student in the Virginia Tech Department of Communication, and a marketing assistant at the Virginia Tech Business Services Office.

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