• Home
    Home We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • Foundation
    Foundation Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • Show
    Show May 18-21, 2019 As the international foodservice marketplace, the National Restaurant Association Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - How does household-income growth affect restaurants?

Skip to navigation Skip to content

News & Research

News RSS

How does household-income growth affect restaurants?

In addition to the solid increase in household income in 2015, the record number of higher-income households is a good sign for restaurants, according to the NRA’s Chief Economist Bruce Grindy.  His Economist’s Notebook commentary and analysis appears regularly on Restaurant.org and Restaurant TrendMapper.

Household income registered a solid increase in 2015, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.  Real median household income was $56,516 in 2015, up 5.2 percent from 2014 and the strongest annual increase since data reporting began back in 1967. 

Despite the healthy gain, 2015 median household income remained 1.6 percent below its pre-recession high of $57,423 in 2007, and 2.4 percent below the record high of $57,909 in 1999. 

In addition to the growth in median household income, the number of higher-income households rose sharply in 2015, which continued the positive post-recession trajectory.  The number of households with annual income above $75,000 numbered 48.4 million in 2015 – the highest level on record.  Moreover, there were 6.9 million more households with income above $75,000 in 2015 than there were in 2011, after adjusting for inflation.   

The strong growth during the last four years followed a sharp decline in higher-income households during the Great Recession.  Between 2007 and 2011, the number of households with annual income above $75,000 fell 5.2 percent, or 2.3 million households. 

Higher-income households also make up a larger share of total households than they ever have.  Households with income above $75,000 represented 38.5 percent of all households in 2015, which surpassed 2000 (38.1 percent) as the highest proportion on record.   

Growth in the number of higher-income households is a positive sign for restaurants, as this demographic group represents the majority of spending in the industry.  According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, households with incomes of $100,000 or higher are responsible for 42 percent of the total spending on food away from home, while households with incomes between $70,000 and $99,999 account for 18 percent of industry spending.

Conserve RSS Healthcare RSS Conserve RSS

▲ Back to Top

New report

Spot Ad right

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2017 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156