Economic Engine

January 10, 2013

The facts

  • The industry's annual sales are projected to reach $799 billion.
  • Industry’s share of the food dollar is 48 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 $799 billion in 2017, representing 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 — 14.7 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