The F&B industry grew in 2022… and it will keep growing in 2023.
However, we’re seeing some major shifts around menu creation, procurement, and dining habits of guests.
This 85+ item list of food service statistics results from meticulous combing through dozens of industry reports. It highlights those shifts so that you can prepare your operation for success without being blindsided by pitfalls and emerging trends.
We divided the list into 14 sections (with our Top 10 being a bonus section):
- Our Top 10 F&B Stats for 2023
- Restaurant Growth
- Sales & Revenue
- Restaurant Costs
- Ordering & Delivery
- Food Waste
- Menu Pricing & Engineering
- Restaurant Inventory
- Technology Stats
- Digital Transformation
- Social Media
- Restaurant Franchising
- Food Service Labour Stats
- Industry Challenges
Read through these food service statistics to keep ahead of industry trends in 2023. They could help guide your decisions in what is shaping up to be a very uncertain time for restaurant operators.
Let’s dig in.
OUR TOP 10
- In 2022, 31% of restaurants cut the number of menu items on offer to deal with the inflation and rising food costs.
- With smart food ordering — meaning leveraging tech for inventory management and vendor selection — operators can cut down on food waste by 80%.
- For 62% of restaurants, automation could help fill critical gaps in managing orders. The benefit is even bigger for inventory management — 91% say that automation around inventory/item availability would help them streamline processes and fill business gaps.
- Most operators have reduced the number of vendors they work with from 7 to 3 (leading to improved inventory visibility and management.
- Accurate and timely inventory control can boost restaurant profits by 24% annually.
- Data-driven operators get 26 times more customers; are 6 times more likely to keep those customers; and are 19 times more likely to be profitable.
- To combat inflation in 2022, 39% of restaurants started tracking the price of key ingredients; 22% adjusted the number of vendors; 36% increased menu prices. This trend is expected to continue in 2023.
- The average profit margin for US restaurants in 2022 was 10.6%, showing it’s slowly inching back to pre-pandemic levels (12% in 2019).
- 84% of diners look up the menu online before choosing a restaurant. Having an easily scannable menu online will be table stakes for most operations in 2023.
- 68% of consumers say they prefer to order from a restaurant’s own website or app instead of a 3rd party app. Agile businesses that invest in their own online ordering platforms stand to reap benefits from this shift in 2023.
Restaurant Growth Statistics
Despite tumultuous macroeconomic factors in 2022 — all of which are expected to continue well into 2023 — the restaurant industry can still expect major growth in several key areas. Although we have discussed some of these topics already, this section focuses on statistics that show the growth of the food service industry.
Here are the F&B growth statistics that are relevant for 2023:
- With the CARG of 3.8%, the growth of the global foodservice market is slowing down slightly — the total value of the market stands at $2,880.1 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $3,787.4 billion by 2028. (IMARC Group, 2022)
- Global food ordering is expected to top $365 billion by 2030. (QSR Magazine, 2019)
- There are 155,448 single-location full-service restaurants in the US. This is an increase of 2.2% from 2021. If the growth rate remains the same, the US will add 3,500 single-location restaurants in 2023. (IBISWorld, 2022).
- There are 197,163 fast-food restaurants in the US — a more conservative 0.6% growth compared to 2021. With a similar growth rate in 2023, this sector will only grow by 1,200 new businesses. (IBISWorld, 2022)
- Food service delivery space will grow to $174.3 billion by the end of 2023. This is to be expected as more and more independent restaurants turn to virtual concepts to maximise profits. (Exploding Topics, 2022)
- Close to 41% of independent restaurants operated a virtual brand in 2022. Out of those, 68% of operators plan to grow beyond three or more virtual concepts in the next 12 months (so in the first half of 2023). (FSR Magazine, 2022)
- Use of QR code payments keeps growing. Because of popularity with consumers, these types of payments will grow 250% by 2025, and will reach 2.2 billion. (Juniper Research, 2021)
Recommended reading: How to Grow Your Restaurant into a Successful Food Empire
Restaurant Sales & Revenue Statistics
Thankfully, both revenue and sales have been going up in 2022 (at least globally). We expect them to grow in 2023 as well, although some predictions are pointing to a slower growth rate in the next 12 months.
Here are the most interesting restaurant revenue and sales stats for 2023:
- US food service sales just topped $900 billion in 2022, growing approximately 12.5% from 2021. Sales will continue to grow in 2023. (National Restaurant Association, 2022)
- Some estimates put this growth at an optimistic $1.3 trillion in 2023… though macroeconomic elements such as supply chain issues and increased labour costs could put a damper on that. (FoodableTV, 2021)
- One survey shows that large chain operations grew their sales by around 4% in Q4 of 2022. However, it notes that this growth faces strong headwinds in 2023. (Seeking Alpha, 2022)
- Full-service restaurants are looking to reap $289 billion in sales in 2022 (up almost 11% from 2021); limited service restaurants will sell approximately $355 billion (up 7.9% from 2021). (TripleSeat, 2022)
- The average profit margin for US restaurants in 2022 was 10.6%, showing it’s slowly inching back to pre-pandemic levels (12% in 2019). (TouchBistro, 2022)
- More pessimistic surveys take a dim view of the current (and future) profit margin for restaurants — this one found that nearly 95% of sales go toward covering rising food cost, labour, and operational expenses. (National Restaurant Association, 2022)
Recommended reading: Revenue-Driving Insights from an F&B Analytics Platform
Restaurant Cost Statistics
In 2022, operators faced a myriad of macroeconomic issues — labour shortages and high wholesale food prices — that have made turning a profit difficult. Still, understanding these costs so that you can make profit-boosting decisions is important.
Here are some restaurant cost statistics that will give you a clearer picture of the situation:
- Expenses are growing across the board for US F&B operators, and will continue to grow in 2023 (National Restaurant Association, 2022):
- 65% of operators say that their overall occupancy costs are now higher;
- 80% quote higher utility costs as a major headache;
- 94% of operators are seeing higher operational costs (supplies, G&A, and similar).
- Food costs are on the rise in Q4 of 2022 — as of November, average wholesale food prices are up by 15.2% compared to the same period in 2021. (National Restaurant Association, 2022).
- For QSRs, the average amount spent on labour remains the same in 2022 as it was in 2021 — $60 per labour hour. (7Shifts, 2022)
- Increased investments in HVAC tech — software that tracks energy usage or senses air leaks — could shave 5-15% off your energy bill for the month. This could amount to significant savings for large operations, especially now that gas and electricity prices are going up. (Nation’s Restaurant News, 2022)
- The average restaurant startup cost is $275,000 or $3,046 per seat in a leased building. This goes up to $425,000 or $3,734 per seat if you want to buy a location. (Sage, 2021)
- The recurring and ongoing costs for restaurants are between $48,000 and $75,000 per month. (Sage, 2021)
Recommended reading: Food Cost Calculation Formulas for Chefs & Operators
Restaurant Delivery Statistics
The Corona pandemic sped up an already fast-track trajectory of the food service delivery segment. Even now — at the (hopefully) tail-end of the pandemic — the growth of takeaway, delivery, and 3rd party apps isn’t slowing down.
Here are some F&B delivery stats worth noting:
- The global food delivery mobile app market is expected to hit $16.6 billion by 2023, growing significantly (close to 30%) in less than three years. (Allied Market Research, 2019)
- People love eating and drinking more than they like dating or even getting quickly to their destination. In 2022, food and beverage delivery apps were downloaded a whopping 888 million times, beating both Tinder (~6mil) and Google Maps (~30mil) by a country mile. (Statista F&B Delivery App Downloads, 2022).
- The number of food delivery apps is growing — in 2023, customers can pick between 54 delivery apps in the US alone. (Statista, 2022)
- Around 54% of survey respondents — with 72% of millennial respondents — say that online ordering, takeout, and 3rd party delivery apps are essential to their way of life. Compared to 2021 data, that’s an increase of 1% overall and 8% in the millennial age bracket. (National Restaurant Association, 2022)
- 68% of consumers say they prefer to order from a restaurant’s own website or app instead of a 3rd party app. Agile businesses that invest in their own online ordering platforms stand to reap benefits from this shift in 2023. (Future of Restaurants, 2022)
- That said, any ordering option is better than none. Close to 13% of consumers say they would avoid a restaurant with no online delivery options. (Future of Restaurants, 2022)
- Restaurants are collecting 30% less revenue when using 3rd party delivery apps — a trend that is expected to continue in 2023. (RoadWarrior App, 2022)
Restaurant Food Waste Statistics
Restaurant-generated food waste is not just an operational ‘this-is-raising-our-costs’ problem anymore — it’s an image problem that can put customers off your establishment.
Unfortunately, it’s also a problem that will persist in 2023.
Although operators are making headway in combating food waste, the food service industry is still one of the major contributors.
Interesting food waste stats:
- US restaurants generate around 15.5 million tonnes of food waste every year; the second-largest waste generator outside of US households. (FoodPrint, 2022)
- Between 4-10% of it is wasted before getting to the consumer, in most part thanks to poor procurement optimisation practices. (FoodPrint, 2022)
- On average, 17% of restaurant meals in the US go uneaten. Those meals — along with trimmings that are not put to good use and general over-preparation of food — significantly contribute to restaurants throwing away 84.5% of their unused food. (The Barbecue Lab, 2022)
- With smart food ordering — meaning leveraging tech for inventory management and vendor selection — operators can cut down on food waste by 80%. (Nation’s Restaurant News, 2022)
- Reducing food waste = reducing overall costs. A comprehensive study of 114 restaurants found that for every $1 invested in waste reduction, a location made a $7 saving. (Champions 123, 2019)
- Investments in curbing food waste peaked in 2021 ($2.2 billion) but they do remain strong in 2022 as well ($1.38 billion invested YTD). A large percentage of these investments are driven by food service industry startups that help businesses streamline BoH operations to reduce food waste. (ReFED, 2022)
- 43% of diners say that they would pay more to cover sustainability practices implemented by restaurants… and some say they won’t even order if a sustainable packaging option isn’t available. (Restaurant Dive, 2022)
Menu Engineering & Pricing Statistics
Supply chain issues, labour shortages, and changing habits continue to shape how restaurants approach menu creation. In 2023, we can expect these things to continue… and we can expect F&B establishments to continue tweaking their offers to cut unnecessary costs and accommodate new types of diners (who will increasingly dine solo).
Here are some F&B menu engineering and pricing statistics that will shape 2023:
- A majority of surveyed restaurants (92%) increased menu prices in 2022, with the increase averaging around 8%. In 2023, 73% of operators plan to further increase their menu prices. (Restaurant365, 2022)
- In 2022, 31% of restaurants cut the number of menu items on offer to deal with the inflation and rising food costs. (Toast Restaurant Survey, 2022)
- Most customers are open to price increases and will continue to be so if the supply chain issues and inflation don’t let up in 2023 — 77% of them understand that their local restaurants need to up the menu prices to stay in business. (Future of Restaurants, 2022)
- 87% of British people are happy to dine on their own. In the future, this might prompt restaurants to change both their menus and their seating layout to accommodate those diners. (Big Hospitality, 2021)
- 84% of diners look up the menu online before choosing a restaurant. Having an easily scannable menu online will be table stakes for most operations in 2023. (TouchBistro, 2022)
Recommended reading: How Smart Operators Add 15% to Their Bottom Line with Menu Tweaks
Restaurant Procurement Statistics
A healthy supply chain is vital for a healthy food service industry. Unfortunately, there’s been delays and shortages galore in 2022. This will continue in 2023, with a lot of staple foods being in short supply or too expensive.
Still, here are some procurement stats that could help guide your decisions in 2023:
- Reducing overhead costs connected to the supply chain from 9% to 4% can double your restaurant’s profits. (Small Business Genius, 2022)
- Close to 95% of restaurants experienced supply delays or shortages in 2021, and this has continued in 2022. Many are turning to locally sourced foods to combat the issue. (National Restaurant Association, 2022)
- While this change can be problematic for operators, it has an upside — 76% of survey respondents note that they’re more likely to visit a restaurant that offers local food. (National Restaurant Association, 2020)
- Most operators have reduced the number of vendors they work with from 7 to 3 (leading to improved inventory visibility and management. (Choco, 2021)
- Beef will be scarce — expect it to get prohibitively expensive… and start working on tweaking your menus by finding substitutes right away. (Nation’s Restaurant News, 2022)
Recommended reading: The Ultimate Guide to F&B Purchasing for Restaurants & Hotels
Restaurant Inventory Statistics
Your food inventory is an operator’s biggest physical asset… and — for most — their biggest headache. That’s because inventories are in constant flux. If you’re not keeping a tight grip on them, you can haemorrhage money without even knowing it. This is why it’s important to know the averages, so you can adhere to them…, and to do stock counts regularly.
Check out these inventory stats to see how your operation measures up:
- Close to 41% of small businesses don’t track their inventory. The number is likely lower among restaurant operations, but still… very few restaurants have full, ongoing visibility of their food inventory. (Zippia, 2022)
- Employee theft is a major contributor to inventory shortages (75%). This translates to around 4% of restaurant sales on average. (7Shifts, 2021)
- Accurate and timely inventory control can boost restaurant profits by 24% annually. (7Shifts, 2021)
- 43% of operators rate inventory management as their biggest day-to-day challenge. (Soft Engine, 2022)
Recommended reading: The Ultimate Guide to Lean F&B Management
Restaurant Technology Statistics
Tech adoption in the food service industry skyrocketed in the last two years. From kitchen displays and online ordering systems to full-fledged BoH management software integrations, operators have invested heavily in curbing labour shortages and cutting costs. Despite the clear economic downturn and potentially slimmer profit margins, we fully expect this trend to continue.
Here are some of the most interesting F&B tech stats we dug up for 2023:
- 2023 could be a big year for tech adoption in the F&B industry. Close to 75% of operators plan to invest in new technology (68% in payroll management, 63% in tech-based loyalty initiatives, and 59% in kitchen display systems). (2022 State of Restaurant Tech Report, SpotOn)
- Close to 72% of operators say they’ll increase their IT budgets, some of which will be earmarked for increasing pay-at-the-table options. (Hospitality POS Tech Report, 2022)
- Payments through digital wallets will become table stakes for restaurants in 2023. Close to 45% of QSR customers would choose one brand over the other based on the availability of such options. (Bounteous, 2022)
- For 62% of restaurants, automation could help fill critical gaps in managing orders. The benefit is even bigger for inventory management — 91% say that automation around inventory/item availability would help them streamline processes and fill business gaps. (Future of Restaurants, 2022)
- Out of restaurants that do plan to modernise their tech in 2023, 49% plan to automate more on-premise functions (up from 41% in 2022), and 60% plan to automate more online functions (up from 51% in 2022). (PopMenu, 2022)
- Back-of-house operations will still likely be the last to see tech upgrades in 2023, even though 90% of F&B operators agree that increasing BoH automation allows staff to focus on more important tasks. (Future of Restaurants, 2022)
- Restaurants and hotels that do $50 million in annual sales benefit the most from automating their supply chain. The right software can help them save between $500K — $2 million every year. (HubSpot, 2021)
Recommended reading: What’s the Best Tech Stack for Your F&B Operation — a Point Solution or a Platform?
Restaurant Digital Transformation Statistics
More and more businesses are moving away from stacks of spreadsheets and manual ways of doing things. They’re doing it out of necessity — as customer behaviours and the industry change, the old ways of doing things become too slow.
Digital transformation of the F&B has been a long time coming, with the pandemic speeding up the adoption. Now, it’s not a question of if but a question of when we’ll see things like self-serving kiosks, AI-driven BoH management, and robotic sus chefs in every city in the world.
Check out these digital transformation stats:
- Data-driven operators get 26 times more customers; are 6 times more likely to keep those customers; and are 19 times more likely to be profitable. (Mckinsey Global Institute, 2021)
- Operators who know their customers sell more — 80% of sales come from 20% of customers. Digital initiatives help you collect customer data so you can use it to increase your revenue. (Sial America, 2021)
- Contactless payment is one of the first things to get implemented through digital transformation initiatives. A good thing, considering that 55% of consumers rate contactless payment as one of the top three influencing factors they consider when choosing a restaurant. (Publicis Sapient, 2022)
- Takeout and delivery can hinge on the level of digitalisation of an operation. Some brands — like Dominos — have seen a 160% revenue growth in the last few years thanks to their focus on streamlining online ordering and delivery. (Wall Street Journal, 2020)
- For QSRs, digitalisation can lead to better customer experience. Digital signage can decrease perceived wait time by 35% simply by giving customers something to look at. (Visix, 2021)
Restaurant Social Media Statistics
Social media platforms remain one of the most used online marketing strategies for F&B operators. With good reason, too — they increase your visibility and your reach without breaking the bank.
The most important 2023 social media stats for restaurant owners are here:
- 7 out of 10 Americans use social media. Globally, the number of social media users is 4.74 billion — an increase of 200 million in the last 12 months. (Demand Sage, 2022)
- Yelp data shows that ‘plant-based restaurant’ searches are growing exponentially — a 54% increase from 2018 to 2021… with the trend likely continuing in 2023. (Restaurant Dive, 2022)
- An extra half-star rating on Yelp could help your restaurant sell out 19% more frequently. That said, fake reviews — and even solid 5-star reviews — will not cause the same effect. (Research Gate, Updated 2022)
- Food influencer marketing is expected to grow at a rate of 45% by 2024. With new social media platforms popping up all the time, this gives savvy restaurant marketers plenty of room to experiment. (eMarketer, 2021)
- Restaurants shouldn’t discount Google ads, either. Thanks to the low cost-per-click ($0.58) and a decent conversion rate (2.5%), these ads can bring in cheap foot traffic. (Ecommerce Conversion Rate Report, 2022)
- Social media presence is important for restaurants — 21% of survey respondents say they’ve chosen a restaurant based on social media posts and photos. (Lunchbox, 2021)
Restaurant Franchising Statistics
Successful F&B concepts can quickly scale and expand through franchising, especially in the US and Europe. For owners, this is often a better solution than growing the business on their own — there’s less risk and the time requirement is lower than when running a multi-outlet operation.
Here are some restaurant franchising stats that might interest you:
- A new franchise opens every 7 minutes of every business day. In the US alone, franchise businesses ring up close to $1.2 trillion in sales every year. (SGR Law, 2022)
- The largest franchising segment in the US is quick-service restaurants; QSRs contribute $276 billion in yearly economic output. (Statista, 2022)
- The US franchising industry employs 8.5 million people — nearly 700K are employed in the chain restaurant business. (Statista, 2022)
- Most startup investments for a franchise are in the $200 — $300K range. However, a lot of franchisors require unborrowed funds as proof of net worth. (LightSpeedHQ, 2021).
Recommended reading: How to Recruit (& Keep) Great Franchisees
Restaurant Labour Statistics
Labour shortages have been choking the global F&B industry since 2020. Although we’re seeing some signs of recovery, it’s safe to assume that staffing issues will continue in 2023.
Here are some stats that highlight the current staffing predicament of F&B operations:
- In 2022, the US food service industry added around 400,000 jobs, for a total of 14.9 million. (National Restaurant Organization, 2022)
- Still, the industry is chronically understaffed; it’s short 430,000 jobs to get to the pre-pandemic employment levels. (National Restaurant Organization, 2022)
- Two out of three of the US operators report their restaurants are at least 10% below necessary staffing levels. Staffing issues — especially in full-service operations — are expected to persist in 2023. (National Restaurant Organization, 2022)
- This is not surprising, seeing how a restaurant worker only lasts 110 days at a job before (most of the time) quitting. According to this specific survey, the US restaurant industry has a turnover rate of 62%. (7Shifts, 2022)
- Average base salary for restaurant workers in the US is $14.18 per hour, slightly below the minimum living wage. (Indeed, 2022)
- Most workers quote low pay (45.8% earn between $11 and $15 per hour); being dependent on tips, and lack of recognition as reasons they leave — or will leave — their job in the F&B industry. (7Shifts, 2022)
- The cost of hiring and training a front-line employee is $5,864, and is likely to increase by 2023. (Cornell Center for Hospitality Research, 2022)
- Nearly 38% of operators are planning for further salary increases in 2023, to attract and keep qualified workers, while 75% expect labour costs to continue going up. (Restaurant365, 2022)
F&B Industry Challenges in 2023
2023 is shaping up to be a tough year for the food service industry.
Most operators are already preparing for acute labour and inventory shortages, shifting eating habits, and even thinner profit margins. The upside to all this is that we’ll see a lot more tech adoption and innovation.
And those businesses that weather the storm can expect to reap big rewards once the economy stabilises.
- Supply chain issues will continue to plague the food service industry in 2023. While the price of wheat and chicken is expected to go down, the price of beef will probably go up by double digits. (Nation’s Restaurant News, 2022)
- To combat inflation in 2022, 39% of restaurants started tracking the price of key ingredients; 22% adjusted the number of vendors; 36% increased menu prices. This trend is expected to continue in 2023. (Toast Restaurant Survey, 2022)
- Consumer eating habits are shifting, with more and more people eating plant-based food. Around 20% of Gen Z already doesn’t eat meat, so restaurant menus will have to shift as this trend continues to grow. (SW Londoner, 2022)
- Inflation and rising price of commodities in 2023 is the #1 worry for 70% of F&B executives.
Knowing the battlefield well means winning half the battle before it has even started.
Armed with these 2023 restaurant industry statistics, you now know the general direction that the industry will take this year. You know the pitfalls to avoid. And you know the opportunities that you need to seize to make this year a success for your operation.
There are many takeaways here, but here are the most important ones:
- Be ready to pivot as consumer preferences change. Don’t treat your menus like sacred cows — if needed, cut out the meat in favour of more plant-based options.
- If certain ingredients cut into your profits too deeply, find a substitute… or don’t be afraid to raise your prices. Diners live in the same economy as restaurant owners. Most understand — and expect — price increases as long as the quality remains the same.
- Keep a vice-like grip on your inventory. Every cent will count in 2023, so make sure that your inventory variance is as close to zero by doing frequent counts and using technology.
- Leverage the power of social media even more in 2023. Lean into marketing. Now is not the time to start pinching pennies from your marketing campaigns as you need all the visibility you can get — and social media marketing gets you the most bang for your buck.
- Experiment with virtual brands more. Adopt a ‘fail fast’ mentality and test out different cuisines while leveraging 3rd party delivery apps to roll out quickly and find out what works.
Ready to digitise your BoH processes?
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