Restaurant Industry Statistics: Hard & Fast Facts about the Food Biz

The restaurant industry can be both challenging and profitable. Take a look at some restaurant industry statistics to see if it's the right investment choice for you.


After weathering the challenges of a years-long global pandemic, the restaurant industry is on the mend, incorporating new tools and lessons learned. While the restaurant business may not have returned to “normal” as we once knew it, the foodservice industry is expected to reach $898 billion in sales and grow its workforce by 400,000 jobs (with total industry employment at 14.9 million) by the end of 2022.

As the restaurant world is reopening after quarantines and stay-at-home orders, restaurateurs face a new set of challenges, responsibilities, and opportunities for growth.


People always need to eat, so the restaurant industry will likely never become obsolete, but the process through which we access our food is changing. In recent years, online food ordering has become broadly popular, with digital ordering and delivery “skyrocketing” by 124% in 2020, according to QSR magazine. Other technologies have also come into play, as well as guests becoming more concerned with reducing food waste and restaurant workers asking for more equitable pay.

The dream of owning a restaurant is complicated by the realities and demands of a multi-faceted industry, but it can also be deeply rewarding if you play your cards right.


While there are endless restaurant ownership opportunities to explore, fast-casual restaurant industry statistics suggest that this is an ideal sector to consider. While the pandemic has presented exceptional challenges for the restaurant industry, fast-casual concepts have fared slightly better than full-service or fine dining establishments. Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) is the touchstone for franchises to understand how their investments are growing. Despite adversity, the fast-casual restaurant industry is on track to grow by more than 10% CAGR over the next five years.

Bridging the gap between full service and fast food, the fast-casual restaurant industry is filled with an endless amount of potential for both guests and restauranteurs, combining convenience, affordability, and flavorful possibilities. The fast-casual market was valued at $125.6 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $209 billion by 2027, according to Allied Market Research, making it a winning business opportunity for savvy investors.

Fast casual restaurants are positioned to be more pandemic- and recession-resistant, able to adapt and refocus their services during difficult times. Limited in-person dining capabilities have been devastating for many restaurants during COVID-19, but fast-casual establishments have pivoted to embrace delivery and takeaway options to control costs and sustain income while staying mindful of guests’ and employees’ safety.


In an evolving world, it’s essential to embrace change and innovation as a business owner. In the world of restaurants, customers will always crave new flavors, specialty items, and limited-time deals, in addition to convenience and affordability. Changing lifestyles and rising demands for on-the-go food ensure that restaurants will always have opportunities to grow and meet new trends and changing preferences, as long as you, as a business owner, are ready and able to meet the task.


If you are passionate about owning your own restaurant but aren’t sure where to start, Wayback Burgers has you covered. What started small in 1991 as an affordable, high-quality burger joint in Delaware has exploded into a leading franchise in the better burger fast-casual sector, combining expedient service and superior quality for guests.

Prospective Wayback Burgers franchise owners are not required to have previous restaurant experience, as we will help guide you every step of the way. We focus on being honest and uncomplicated with everything we do, so feel free to check out our franchise FAQ to learn more about our franchise, restaurant industry statistics, and more.

If you are interested in exploring franchising opportunities with Wayback Burgers, get started today.