Restaurants are the cornerstones of the economy, career-and-employment opportunities for millions of Americans, and local communities.
Nationally, with 925,000 restaurant locations, the restaurant industry’s direct sales are $511 billion a year—more than $1.4 billion a day. Including the impact restaurants have on sales in related industries, the industry’s overall impact on the U.S. economy is $1.3 trillion a year—about 10 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.
The restaurant industry is the nation’s largest private sector employer. Restaurants employ 12.5 million people today, and are expected to add 1.9 million new jobs between 2006 and 2016.
For a year or for a career, the restaurant industry is a critical training ground and source of extraordinary career opportunities for Americans of every background. More than eight in 10 salaried restaurant employees started out as hourly restaurant employees. One in four restaurants in the United States is minority-owned, and the restaurant and foodservice industry employs more minority managers than any other industry. Forty-two percent of American adults have worked in the industry, with 28 percent getting their first job experience in a restaurant. Restaurants give back. Restaurants are an important part of local communities, with nine out of 10 restaurants donating food, time, facilities and other resources to charitable causes.