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When it comes to fast food, people tend to have strong opinions.

Some people think that all of the food is unhealthy and greasy, while others enjoy indulging in a guilty pleasure every once in a while.

Regardless of where you stand on the topic, there’s no denying that fast food is popular.

In fact, Americans spend an estimated $200 billion on fast food each year. That’s a lot of burgers and fries! So what do we spend our money on exactly? Keep reading to find out.

Overview: Money Spent on Fast Food Statistics

Let us go through some fundamental fast food and money statistics for you to discover both physical and economic opportunities and risks connected to fast foods.

  • Close to $1200 is spent on fast food by one person in a year.
  • Americans spend more than 200 Billion USD on fast food in a year.
  • In lifetime, average American spend $70000 dollars.
  • 50 million American eat fast food on any given day.
  • $931.7 Billion dollars estimated Global fast food market value.
  • 80 percent of Americans visit a fast food outlet once a month.
  • 20% of the people eat fast food once every week.
  • 23% of the US adults eat fast food meals three or more times a week.
  • 34% of children aged 2 to 19 years eat fast food daily.

Almost all Americans eat fast food at least once a month, if not more often. Around the world, fast food customers spend more than 275 billion dollars on fast food. Fast-food consumer expenditure in the United States amounts for 50 billion USD per year out of this total worldwide consumption. That is to say that Americans spend 18 percent of all worldwide fast-food expenditure on their favorite fast-food establishments.

The US Fast Food Consumption Statistics

Statistics in this section highlight the main trends of fast food consumption in the US.

1.  In 2018, 31.57% of Americans ate fast food 1 to 3 times a week compared to 29.42% who ate fast food less than once a week the same year.

(Source: Source: Statista)

An study by Cint revealed that for three straight years, the majority of Americans consumed fast food between one and three times per week on a weekly basis. Those who ate fast food one to three times per week in 2018 were 31.57 percent, 31.89 percent in 2017, and 37.58 percent in 2016, while those who ate fast food less than once per week were 29.42 percent in 2018, 31.5 percent in 2017, and 34.89 percent in 2016.

2.  43.7 percent of Americans eat fast food during lunch compared to 42 percent who eat it at Dinner.

Americans eat fast food during lunch compared

(Source: Advisory Board)

More Americans consume fast food during lunch than at night, making noon the most popular time for fast food consumption in the United States, followed by supper. Only 22.7 percent of people consume fast food at breakfast, and only 22.6 percent eat it as a snack throughout the day. Men (48.3 percent) are more likely than women (39.1 percent) to consume fast food at lunch. Women, on the other hand, are more likely than males to consume fast food for breakfast.

3.  The leading fast-food consumers in the US are those who are between 20 and 39 years old.

The leading fast-food consumers in the US are those who are between

(Source: Source: Barbecue Lab)

Fast food is consumed on a daily basis by 44.9 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 39, followed by 37.7 percent of those between the ages of 40 and 59, and just 24.1 percent of those aged 60 and above.

4.  38% of men consume fast food compared to 35.4% of women.

men consume fast food compared

(Source: Source: Barbecue Lab)

More men eat fast food than women do.

5.  83% of all families in the US eat fast food at least once every week.

US eat fast food at least once every week

(Source: Barbecue Lab)

Only 17% of all American families do not eat fast food at least once per week.

6.  42.4% of African Americans consume fast food daily compared to 30.6% of Asian Americans.

(Source: Barbecue Lab)

More African Americans than Asian Americans visit fast food outlets daily.

7.  42% of high-income level adults consume fast food daily compared to 31.7% of adults in low-income levels.

(Source: Barbecue Lab)

8.  About 30 percent of the fast-food restaurants in the US focus on the production of hamburgers.

percent of the fast-food restaurants in the US focus on the production of hamburgers

(Source: Linchpin)

The hamburger is the most widely manufactured fast food in the United States. Burgers are available at all fast-food establishments. Some fast-food establishments specialize only in the preparation of hamburgers.

The Fast Food Market Size Statistics

The quick-service restaurant sector is a thriving company not just in the United States but across the whole globe. Fast-food market statistics in this area will show global and regional trends in the fast-food industry, with a particular emphasis on the United States.

9.  The global value of the Fast Food Market was $647.7 billion in 2019 and it is projected to reach $931.7 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 4.6%.

(Source: Allied Market Research)

The fast-food sector is expected to continue to expand at a rapid pace in the future years. The fast-food market in Latin America is expected to expand at the highest pace, with a projected cumulative annual growth rate of 3.4 percent in the coming years. During the year 2019, quick service restaurants generated the most income, accounting for 42.59 percent of the total fast-food market share globally. The United States was the largest fast-food market in the North America area in 2010, and it is projected to continue to expand at a rapid pace throughout the forecast period.

10.  The total revenue of the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry was 273 billion USD in 2019 while in 2020; the total revenue was 239 billion USD.

(Source: Statista)

Since 2004, the quick-service restaurant sector in the United States has seen significant growth. Fast food consumption reached its zenith in 2018, when consumer expenditure on the cuisine hit about 300 billion USD. Consumption expenditures in this sector decreased by about 3 percent in 2019. In comparison to the previous year, the industry generated less income in 2020. In 2020, the overall income generated by the QSR sector in the United States will have decreased by 34 billion USD. The emergence of Covid-19 may be the most significant reason leading to this decrease in population.

11.  The fast-food industry was 25.67 billion USD in 2011 and its projected growth in 2021 is 281.68 billion.

(Source: Statista)

Since 2011, the fast food sector in the United States has seen consistent expansion. Despite the fact that the QSR sector’s revenue fell to 240.01 billion USD in 2020, the business is expected to increase by $281.68 billion in 2021.

12.  In 2019, McDonald’s took the lead among other US fast-food restaurants by close to $20 billion in sales.

(Source: Statista)

Many fast-food restaurants in the United States are well-known not just in the United States, but also around the globe. McDonald’s was followed by Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, and Subway on the list of top fast-food restaurants. However, when it comes to the quantity of units, Subway grabbed the lead, followed by Starbucks, and then McDonald’s came in third place.

13.   Children accounted for close to 80% of fast food consumption at McDonald’s.

(Source: Study Finds)

According to a survey conducted by Study Finds in 2017, McDonald’s was the most popular fast food restaurant in the United States. This was most likely caused by the high frequency with which McDonald’s advertisements were broadcasted to youngsters.

14.  Adults spent 130.4 billion USD at McDonald’s in 2019 compared to $45.9 billion spent at Starbucks globally.

(Source: Barbecue Lab)

McDonald’s was the most popular fast-food restaurant among adults all over the globe in 2019. This is most likely due to the fact that McDonald’s had more locations (37,855) than Starbucks (29,324) worldwide at the end of 2018.

15.  McDonald’s sells 75 hamburgers a second equivalent to 4500 hamburgers a minute or 270,000 hamburgers per hour.

(Source: Everythingwhat)

McDonald’s sells 6.48 million hamburgers per day, for a total of 2.36 billion hamburgers per year if sales continue at current pace. Consequently, McDonald’s leads in burger sales, followed by Burger King, which generates $9.6 billion in sales, and Wendy’s, which earns $9.3 billion and takes third place overall.

16.  Between June 2019 and June 2020, digital fast food orders increased by 23 percent and it is anticipated that this will triple in 2021.

(Source: Linchpin)

This information was gathered from the 48 states of the United States. Because the data range includes a few months during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is possible that the breakout of Covid-19 was a contributing factor to the rise in digital fast-food orders.

17.  By June 2020, the most popular fast-food restaurant in the US was Sonic, which was popular in 14 states.

(Source: World Population Review)

A total of five fast-food establishments from each state were included in the research. Sonic came out on top, followed by Taco Bell and Wendys, each of which is popular in nine states, then McDonald’s, which is popular in eight states, Chick-fil-A, Culvers, and Popeye’s, which is popular in one. Despite the fact that Sonic was the most popular restaurant throughout the United States, McDonald’s and Subway were in the top five in every state. The convenience of Sonic’s drive-in service may have contributed to the company’s increasing popularity.

18.  By April 2021, there were 293329 fast-food restaurants in the US showing an increase of 1.1% from 2020.

(Source: IBIS World)

Approximately 4593559 individuals are employed by these fast-food establishments. Since its inception, the fast-food sector has seen steady expansion. However, despite the difficulties created by the Covid-19 epidemic, the fast-food sector saw a small increase in revenue in 2021.

19.  The US Fast Food Restaurants industry had total revenue of $278.6bn by April 2021.

(Source: IBIS World)

Since 2016, the income of this industry has increased on a consistent basis. By the end of 2021, it is anticipated that the market size of this sector will have increased by 8.9 percent. Because of the accessibility and affordability of fast food, this sector continues to enjoy widespread appeal among customers today.

Fast Food Advertising Statistics

The statistics in this section will show if there is any relationship between fast food advertising and fast food consumption.

20.  In 2009, the fast-food industry spent above $4.2 billion on advertising.

(Source: Fast Food Marketing)

The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity discovered in 2010 that more than 4.2 billion USD was spent on television, the internet, and in restaurants to promote fast-food establishments, with the goal of encouraging younger people to eat there more often.

21.  In 2012, 6 billion fast-food ads were put on Facebook.

(Source: Live Science)

Facebook is the most widely used social media site among teenagers. The promotion of fast food on social media platforms is an indicator that these advertisements were targeted at teenagers…. Wendy’s and Dunkin’ Donuts advertisements accounted for more than half of all fast food ads that appeared on Facebook, accounting for 19 percent of all fast food commercials.

22.  In 2018, Wendy’s fast-food brand ad occurred 4339 on TV while the Popeyes brand ad occurred 3253 times.

(Source: Statista)

The Wendy’s fast-food franchise was the most visible on television, followed by Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. The Checkers fast-food brand appeared 2970 times, Subway 1062 times, and McDonald’s 491 times, according to the database.

23.  The US QRS spent close to $14 billion in 2016 in advertising its products.

(Source: UCONN)

More over 80% of these ads were for fast food, sugary beverages, sweets, and snacks, among other things. During this time period, children and teenagers were exposed to between 11 and 12 fast food advertisements each day. Following exposure to these advertisements, the probability of these youngsters purchasing the promoted products rose.

24.  In 2017, fast food companies spent 11 billion USD on TV adverts.

(Source: Huff post)

Eighty percent of this money, or about $8.8 billion USD, was spent on promoting goods such as fast food, candy, sugary drinks, and snacks, among other things. This research also showed that black teenagers were twice as likely as white teens to watch these ads, according to the findings.

25.  A 2019 survey showed that 42.8% of the most popular YouTube videos from Kid influencers promoted food and drinks.

(Source: Science Daily)

Ninety percent or more of these films included commercials for branded foods, beverages, and fast food toys. Fast food was the most often featured junk food in these videos, with sweets and drink coming in second and third place. Unbranded products that appeared in these videos included hotdogs at 4 percent, fruit at 3 percent, and yogurt brands at 2 percent, according to the study.

26.  YouTube videos that featured junk food had more than one billion views.

(Source: Science Daily)

The exposure to food and beverage businesses was prevalent among youngsters, and it was probable that this would have an impact on their dietary choices.

27.  A 2009 research by the University of California found that of 5724 commercials identified, 1162 were food adverts.

(Source: Science Daily)

92 percent of food-related advertisements were written in English, 8.7 percent in Spanish, and just one advertisement was multilingual. Approximately 70% of the ads were from fast-food establishments that promoted sugary foods, chips, and sugary drinks. Convenience food was the subject of 34% of the advertisements.

28.  Young viewers were exposed to 76% more ads per hour by children’s networks.

(Source: Science Daily)

Children spent more time watching food-related advertisements on their networks than they did on television. Food advertisements appeared in shows on children’s networks at a rate of 7.7 per hour, implying that children saw one food advertisement every eight minutes.

29.  Exposing children to fast food TV ads increases their likelihood of consuming fast foods by 30%.

(Source: Study finds)

Fast food advertisements have a major effect on the dietary choices of youngsters. Children have a strong yearning for the foods that they see advertised on television. Fast food is more appealing to them than other kinds of meals as a result of this.

30.  43% of pre-school children ate products from restaurants that they saw on TV ads compared to 41% who were exposed to TV ads for such products.

(Source: Study finds)

In this research, pre-school children were exposed to fast food television advertisements at the same time period as their parents, which included three different brands: McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Subway. After calculating each child’s exposure to the advertisements and comparing their reactions to the advertisements, it became apparent that advertisements concentrating on brands and advertisements focusing on goods had an impact on where the children liked to eat and the kind of food they ate.

Final Thought


Q: What is a quick-service restaurant (QSR)?

In addition to being referred to as a quick-service restaurant (QSR), it may also be referred to as a limited-service restaurant (LSR). An establishment that serves meals at a lower price range and usually offers quick service, a restricted menu, and limited table service is defined as follows: The term “fast-food restaurant” is more frequently used to describe these establishments.

Q: Does advertising influence food choices that people make?

Answer: A large number of thorough literature studies have found that food advertisements have an impact on children’s food preferences, purchase requests, and food intake.

Q: What does the term Fast food mean?

As defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), fast food is defined as a rapid, readily available and inexpensive food that is often high in saturated fat, sugar, salt, and calories and is used as a substitute for home-cooked foods.

Fast food is inexpensive hot cuisine that is prepared fast and given to customers in the restaurant or taken away to consume later.

Q: Which is the difference between Junk food and fast food?

In response to the question, junk food is defined as food that has a very poor nutritional value. It is often referred to as being high in “empty calories.” Fast food, on the other hand, refers to any kind of cuisine that is prepared and served rapidly by fast-food establishments.

Q: What are some examples of fast foods?

There are many different kinds of quick meals that are offered by fast-food establishments. Fast foods include hamburgers, cheeseburgers, sandwiches, milkshakes, muffins, burritos, cookies, tacos, hotdogs, fried chicken, doughnuts, baguettes, soft drinks, pizza, onion rings, sausage, pretzels, pancakes, bacon, chips, and noodles, to name a few. Fast foods are also known as convenience meals.


New York Post


Rasmussen Reports



Expected Ramblings

Ohio State University


The Fiscal Times

USA Today



Advisory Board

Barbecue Lab


Allied Market Research




Study Finds

Barbecue Lab


 World Population Review

IBIS World

Fast Food Marketing

Live Science




Science Daily

Study finds

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