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As the restaurant landscape evolves, understanding important restaurant industry statistics is critical for success and strategic planning. Below are 21 insightful stats that will help your restaurant thrive in 2020.

33% Of Restaurants Are NOT Paying For Social Media Ads 

The old forms of media are fading. Nobody is listening to the radio, watching TV, or reading newspapers anymore. If you want to catch yourRestaurant social media advertising audience’s attention, you’ll have to reach them digitally. Social media platforms have emerged as the most effective way to do this. 

With billions of social media users and complete access to your target markets’ attention, social media marketing is a must. From influencer marketing for restaurants to paid ads, there is an affordable strategy for every restaurant type.


Only 23% Of Restaurants Reach Out To Customers Who Leave Negative Reviews Online

How restaurants should handle negative reviewsThere’s no way for your business to hide negative online reviews. The only way a negative review can be removed is if the original poster removes or changes it. So, if your restaurant receives a bad review, reach out directly to the unsatisfied customer and attempt to make amends.

A formal apology will suffice, but offering the customer an incentive to give your restaurant another chance and to improve on your previous performance is also something to consider.

With 85% of consumers checking the internet before making a purchase, and 35% of diners relying on online reviews to choose a new restaurant, managing your online reputation is something every restaurant should take seriously.


39% Of Adults Are Not Eating At Restaurants As Much As They Would Like

People want to eat out and they want experiences. If you want to keep your venue full, be mindful that people are now looking to spend their money on experiences that look good on camera and make for exciting social media posts.

Curating your restaurant’s dining experience with that in mind will not only incentivize diners to choose your restaurant, but they will also end up doing a lot of your social media marketing for you!  

72% Of Diners Place Food Quality Over Everything Else When Choosing A Restaurant

A successful restaurant starts with good food. If your restaurant is failing, it is almost certainly because the food is not good enough for the price. 

When you eat something compelling, price no longer matters. So if your restaurant is struggling, start combating that by gathering feedback on your food and value from authorities you trust and then figure out how you can improve the quality of your restaurant. Leveraging restaurant industry statistics is useless if the core product doesn’t meet customer expectations. 

75% Of Surveyed Chefs Say CBD Infused Drinks Are The Biggest Food/Beverage Trend Right Now

Chefs also pointed to CBD infused food as the No.2 trend. CBD or cannabidiol, is one of the main active ingredients in cannabis.

The CBD industry is flourishing and the market is expected to reach $20 billion by 2024. Despite its popularity, there’s still plenty of room for creative uses of CBD within the restaurant industry. 


Orders Placed Via Smartphone And Mobile Apps Are Expected To Become A $38 Billion Industry In 2020

Of all the restaurant industry statistics, this may be the most important. Mobile ordering at restaurants is growing and will continue to grow at a rapid pace. 

An eMarketer study found that more than 61 million Americans used some type of mobile payment in 2019. Integrating online ordering technology requires the appropriate time, attention, and money, but the return is and will continue to be significant.   

About 60% Of Consumers Say They Are Willing To Pay More For Takeout Packaging Made With Sustainable Materials

Trends toward sustainable, recyclable materials for takeout containers are sustainable packaging in the restaurant industrytaking shape at several major restaurant brands. As you operate your takeout and/or delivery business, consider this statistic. People want to feel good about their relationship with the environment. As long as you give customers what they want, they are happy to pay for it. This restaurant industry statistic points toward a larger environmentally conscious business trend. 


84% Of People Trust Online Reviews As Much As Their Friends

First impressions are important when it comes to your restaurant. If a customer has a bad experience (or a positive one!) they have the opportunity to immediately post it online to multiple review outlets. 

Having a positive experience will encourage customers to order from your restaurant again. Outside of posting a review, customers will also turn to social media to simply discuss their purchase. The most credible form of advertising comes straight from the people we know and trust. Nearly 83% of online respondents in 60 countries say they trust the recommendations of friends and family, according to the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report.


A Study By Appetize Showed The Use Of In-House Kiosks Increased Order Sizes By 21%


Ordering automation is on the rise so this restaurant industry statistic shouldn’t be ignored.

POS companies are taking the time to build and introduce kiosk platforms that integrate with mobile ordering, display systems, and operations management software. These kiosks play a key role in speeding up the ordering process and create a more customizable experience. 

Restaurant Kiosk Order Systems are booming and will continue to grow over the next year. Chains like McDonald’s are leading the way for self-service kiosks. As of 2020, self-service ordering kiosks will be implemented at all U.S. McDonald’s locations and this “next generation” vending will increase from $10 to $20 billion in sales

Customer Impact

Customers are starting to expect this kind of automation. In the restaurant industry, this means customization and convenience. If a customer can’t get what they want, when they want, they’ll look for other options. Kiosks will solve this issue by automating the ordering and payment process. The cost? Human Jobs, but we’ll save that topic for another day. 

Tillster is a leader in digital ordering and engagement solutions for restaurants. They launched a self-service Kiosk Index to study how offering self-service kiosk impacts guest behavior. They found that “The Index pinpoints the line length that will cause customers to walk away from their favorite establishment in favor of a faster experience. However, if kiosk ordering is available, many customers will stick around,” the study says.

It also found that approximately 31% of surveyed quick-service guests had used a kiosk in a restaurant in the past 12 months. Furthermore, 60% said they would visit a limited-service concept more often if they were available.

Industry Insight

Perse Faily, CEO of Tillster, said in a statement: “Customers of all ages are now looking for digital interactions in restaurants, especially ones that provide them with a faster and easier dining experience.”

Technologically-savvy customers are expecting control and customization when ordering. A customer’s experience needs to align with business operations as well, so the restaurant doesn’t get overwhelmed. To begin learning more about kiosks, take a look at this long list of options to start your journey towards automating the ordering process at your restaurant.

Local Searches On Mobile Devices Are Growing 50% Faster Than Mobile Searches Overall

Customers search for local businesses on a daily basis. 

Local searches are driving more foot traffic and business conversion than e-commerce for many marketers and businesses. In fact, Google stated that local searches on mobile devices are growing 50% faster than mobile searches overall. 

Take the time to hone in on your local SEO to get more customers coming to your restaurant. In a world of competing restaurants and search results, if your text isn’t unique, enticing and descriptive, then traffic to your website will suffer. If you want to reach local customers, be sure to include the name of the city your restaurant is in and the area your restaurant serves (e.g., “Serving Manhattan and Brooklyn”) on your site. Find a keyword that describes your restaurant and use it in multiple spots within your website.

Revenue From Food Delivery Could Reach
$75 Billion In 2020

The benefits of running your own delivery service are clear. With the huge potential in revenue growth, the ability to build your brand, and the opportunity to capture new consumers, your restaurant will thrive when you branch out into offering a delivery service all your own.

Gluten-Free Food Sales Could Reach $24 Billion In 2020

In 2006, gluten-free and so-called “free-from” foods rang up about $0.9 billion in retail food sales. By 2020, Statista said its data indicated that sales of those same foods will total $23.9 billion in the U.S.

The reality is, there aren’t THAT many people in the U.S. that have to (medically) abide by a gluten-free diet. But, there are enough people that still want it, so by not including gluten-free options on your menu, you are missing opportunities for new customers and a new revenue stream. This is a low key restaurant industry statistic that can be leveraged to have a major impact. 


Gen Z Already Represents More Than 10% Of Total Foodservice Traffic

Anyone born after 1995 is considered part of Generation Z, which now makes up around 26% of our population. Gen Z on their PhonesWhere Baby Boomers originally held the crown, Generation Z now reigns supreme as being the largest demographic and are taking charge with their spending habits. They are expected to account for about 40 percent of all consumers by 2020. Are you ready?


Installing A Digital Menu Board Can Boost Overall Sales by 3% – 5%

Having an electronic screen with your menu on it allows you to easily change prices, menu items, specials, and mark items as unavailable. 

While the up-front cost might seem expensive, owners no longer have to take the time to manually update the menu by getting them printed, written, or typed. Therefore, replacing printed menu boards with digital displays does offer some cost savings back to a restaurant.

You can also be transparent with your menu items by offering calorie counts, ingredient specifications, and add-ons.


95% Of Restaurateurs Agree Restaurant Technology (Especially Online Technology) Improves Their Business

Most restaurant owners feel that the proper integration of technology boosts business by  improving efficiency and increasing revenue. It’s a broad restaurant industry statistic but it’s important to mention.


Restaurant Industry Statistics Infographic

Restaurants Can Receive 2-10x As Many Orders Online As They Can Via Telephone

Implementing online ordering can improve a restaurant’s operational efficiency. Plus, the process is cleaner and more organized for customers. Your customers won’t be calling-in and monopolizing an employee’s time with unneeded questions about your menu, so your staff is freed up to engage higher priority items and in-house guests. 


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