20+ Restaurant Industry Statistics Every Restaurateur Should Know

Mar 17, 2021

Photo of a group participating in outdoor dining, which is growing in popularity according to restaurant industry statistics.

2020 flipped the restaurant industry upside down, and the restaurant industry statistics compiled in this blog post convey just that. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted everything from restaurant operations to customer expectations. It also sped up adoption of digital tools to facilitate takeout, delivery, and on-premise digital ordering.

We’ve seen restaurants display strength and a tremendous showing of adaptability during uncertain times. While many of these changes occurred because of COVID-19, most industry experts expect these restaurant industry trends to stay long after the pandemic is over.

We compiled over 20 recent restaurant industry statistics that every restaurateur and restaurant operator should know in 2021.

Restaurant Industry Statistics: Restaurant Trends

  • Restaurants expect 62% of their revenue to come from takeout and delivery in 2021. (Square
  • 91% of restaurants are looking to kitchen automation technology to help streamline their operations in 2021. (Square
  • 42% of restaurants plan to invest in customer loyalty programs. (Square

Restaurant Industry Statistics: Consumer Trends Amid COVID-19

  • Online food and beverage transactions have grown by 93% since the beginning of the pandemic. (Forter)
  • 72% of consumers said they will make more of an effort to support small businesses in 2021. (Constant Contact)
  • 51% of adults have downloaded at least one food-related app amid COVID-19. 45% have downloaded two or more. (Bluedot)
  • 72% of consumers said they expect to be back to doing business in-person within the next year. (Constant Contact)
  • 44% of consumers said local restaurants, markets, or grocery stores are the first small businesses they will flock to as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. (Constant Contact)

Restaurant Industry Statistics: Consumer Behavior

  • 53% of consumers say that takeout and delivery are essential to their way of life. (National Restaurant Association)
  • 77% of customers will visit your website before deciding to patronize your restaurant. (MGH)
  • 65% of consumers said the menu was the biggest deciding factor before visiting a restaurant. (MGH)
  • 93% of consumers look at online reviews for restaurants. (BrightLocal

Restaurant Industry Statistics: Online Ordering

  • Digital sales will account for more than half of limited-service and quick-service sales by 2024. (Incisiv)
  • 67% of consumers prefer to use a restaurant’s own website or app for food delivery. Of that group, 61% said it’s because they want to better support the restaurant. (Square)
  • 75% of restaurants plan on offering contactless ordering and payments options across all channels. (Square

Restaurant Industry Statistics: Mobile Apps

  • 53% of consumers are downloading and using more apps to reduce interaction/contact with on-site staff. (Bluedot)
  • 43% of users place orders via a restaurant app. (National Restaurant Association)
  • Diners who download restaurant mobile apps order twice as often as diners who don’t. (ChowNow)
  • Only 18% of operators offer mobile ordering via their own app. (National Restaurant Association)

Restaurant Industry Statistics: Delivery

  • 56% of consumers place delivery orders via restaurant websites. (National Restaurant Association)
  • 58% of restaurants prefer to use their own app or website for delivery. (Square)
  • The average delivery customer is willing to pay $8.50 for delivery fees, tip included. (US Foods)
  • 68% of restaurants say that delivery has increased their revenue amid COVID-19. (Sage Intacct)

Restaurant Industry Statistics: Curbside

  • Nearly 50% of Gen Z are willing to try out a new restaurant if curbside pickup is an option. (Bluedot)
  • Outdoor dining (21%) and curbside pickup/in-store pickup (21%) proved to be the most popular things businesses tried in 2020, and consumers now expect them to become standard practice. (Constant Contact)

At ChowNow, we build restaurants their very own online ordering systems, which enables them to take digital orders for takeout and delivery in a profitable and sustainable way. Our restaurant partners take unlimited, commission-free orders for in-store pickup, curbside, delivery, and contactless dine-in through their own websites or mobile ordering apps. 

If you’re interested in learning more, schedule a demo with one of our online ordering specialists.

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