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National Restaurant Association - Economic Engine

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Industry Impact

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Economic Engine

The facts

  • The industry's annual sales now top $709 billion.
  • Industry’s share of the food dollar is 47 percent.
  • Industry sales constitute 4 percent of the U.S. GDP.

Feeding the U.S. economy

With restaurants on every street of our towns and cities and along vast stretches of America’s roads and highways, restaurant industry activity has become a huge component of the U.S. economy. The industry’s economic health is now a leading indicator of the nation’s economic health, and industry growth is a significant factor in the nation’s economic outlook.

Restaurant industry sales are growing, with projected sales of $709 billion in 2015. On a typical day, restaurant industry sales are $1.8 billion across the 1 million restaurant locations nationwide. Today, restaurant industry sales are 4% of the U.S. GDP.

The impact of our industry’s vitality extends far beyond our own restaurants’ walls. Restaurant sales generate tax dollars for local communities, and our huge number of employees — 14 million — translates into healthy contributions to state and federal tax revenues. What’s more, for every dollar spent in restaurants, an additional $2 is generated in sales for other industries, generating even more tax dollars and economic activity.— Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO, National Restaurant Association



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