New Restaurant Industry Analysis and Trends to Watch

restaurant industry researchThe restaurant industry includes both fast-food chains, which offer limited service, and full-service establishments with sit-down table service. This includes burger joints like McDonald’s, coffee houses and bakeries like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Panera, as well as pizza places and other chains serving up international culinary favorites like Tex-Mex, Mexican, and Asian foods.

Restaurants continue to face strong competition for consumer discretionary spending. After all, consumers can choose from plenty of dining options — or forego eating out altogether by preparing food at home. Keeping up with shifting consumer demands is another constant challenge.

To gain a competitive edge in this dynamic industry, it’s important to understand high-level marketplace trends, consumer insights, and emerging opportunities. Packaged Facts, a leading consumer research firm and division of, recently published the report Eating Trends: Restaurant Use, which provides topline purchasing, demographic, and psychographic data on restaurant usage trends from MRI-Simmons national consumer surveys conducted in the spring of 2019.

Check out the video below and read on to learn more about restaurant industry trends and statistics highlighted in the report.


Restaurant Industry Overview

How often people dine out: Four out of five U.S. adults eat out at restaurants at least monthly.

Use of restaurant coupons: Consumer use of restaurant coupons is up five percentage points. About 33% of U.S. adults use restaurant coupons. The trend is supported by newer restaurant meal delivery services like Grubhub and Uber Eats, which include instant, digital and online/app point-of-sales use.

Use of restaurant gift cards: Use of restaurant gift cards, like use of restaurant coupons, is outperforming overall market trends.

Top restaurant chain: Among restaurant chains, whether fast-food or full-service, McDonald’s is in a league of its own, with 136 million adult customers.

Top full-service restaurant: More than 20% of American adults, or 54 million, eat at Applebee’s, making it the most visited full-service restaurant in America. Olive Garden is a close second in terms of popularity.

Market challenges: Recent years have seen significant changes in how consumers think about food, including preferred ingredients, sustainability, and animal welfare. These changes make it difficult for fast food restaurants to cater to shifting consumer preferences.

New Restaurant Market Research

For more restaurant industry analysis, be sure to read the report Eating Trends: Restaurant Use, which provides data and restaurant market research on the top 100+ fast-food and full-service chains, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Chick-Fil-A, Cracker Barrel, Applebee’s, Pizza Hut, Olive Garden, IHOP, and others.

For an updated restaurant industry overview, see our most recent article "3 Top Restaurant Industry Trends to Watch Post-COVID."

About Packaged Facts: Packaged Facts publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased at our company website and are also available through

Topics: Food & Beverage Industry Insights