The restaurant industry is changing in 2023, and it’s all thanks to inflation and the power of big players. This blog looks at how the industry is changing and how it’s changing fast. It’s a huge industry, worth billions of dollars, with lots of different restaurants catering to different tastes and prices. The pandemic has been a huge blow to the industry, and a lot of restaurants have had to close or work at reduced hours. We’ll take a closer look at what’s going on in the world of restaurants.

Inflation’s Ripple Effect on Revenue Growth:

A formidable force, inflation, has left an indelible mark on the restaurant industry’s revenue growth. The numbers tell a stark tale — a 16.5% nominal and a substantial 7.4% real increase in revenue. This economic headwind has prompted restaurants worldwide to recalibrate their financial strategies, pricing models, and operational efficiencies to navigate these challenging waters.

Foodservice Industry in 2023: Global Change in Sales:

The figures for global change in sales provide a panoramic view of the industry’s resilience and adaptability amid economic uncertainties.

Chain Operators: The Trailblazers:

Chain operators stand out as the torchbearers of growth, consistently outpacing the industry at large. In 2022, the top 150 global chain sales reached an astronomical $507 billion. This impressive figure was accompanied by a 7.8% sales growth, exemplifying the agility and adaptability of chain operators in the face of economic challenges.

Chain operators have been able to achieve success due to their successful global expansion strategies. Many of the most successful chains have expanded their operations to new markets, taking advantage of the increasing consumer base and untapped potential. This global presence has not only enabled them to generate more revenue, but has also provided them with a diversified risk profile, making them more able to withstand regional economic fluctuations.

Chain operators didn’t just stick to one industry – they covered a lot of ground, from retail to food and drinks to hospitality. This diversity made them more resilient to the ups and downs of the market, and it helped them stand out from the competition. These operators have been at the forefront of growth, not only managing the ups and downs of the global economy, but also setting new standards for success in the industry. They’ve been able to stay ahead of the curve, meet changing consumer needs, and make a positive impact on society and the environment, making them leaders in their field.

Global Chain Locations: A Sprawling Footprint:

The global footprint of chain operators expanded significantly in 2022, boasting a total of 441K locations globally. This 3.8% growth in the number of locations is a testament to the global appeal and consumer loyalty that these chains command. Their capacity to adjust to changing conditions, expand into new markets, establish strategic alliances, and prioritize sustainability have all contributed to this remarkable development, which marks a significant milestone in the success of these international chains.

Industry Giants: Towers of Influence:

The global restaurant industry isn’t just a collection of eateries; it’s a battleground where industry giants wield immense influence, shaping trends and setting benchmarks. In the competitive landscape of the global restaurant industry, industry giants wield significant influence. Leading chains such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, KFC, Burger King, Domino’s, Subway, and Taco Bell showcase varying degrees of growth in both U.S. and non-U.S. markets.

  • McDonald’s, with a 6.0% U.S. sales growth and 4.5% non-U.S. sales growth, maintains its stronghold on the market.
  • Starbucks exhibits robust performance, with a remarkable 14.5% U.S. sales growth and 3.0% non-U.S. sales growth.
  • KFC faces a more modest scenario, with a 0.2% U.S. sales growth and a -1.0% non-U.S. sales growth.
  • Burger King stands out with a 2.4% U.S. sales growth and an impressive 13.3% non-U.S. sales growth.
  • Domino’s faces challenges with a 1.3% U.S. sales growth and a concerning -3.8% non-U.S. sales growth.
  • Subway demonstrates resilience, showcasing a 4.0% U.S. sales growth and a robust 9.5% non-U.S. sales growth.
  • Taco Bell shines with a 9.8% U.S. sales growth and an outstanding 20.8% non-U.S. sales growth.

Diversity and Culinary Innovation:

Beyond the economic and corporate aspects, the global restaurant industry is a tapestry of diverse cuisines and culinary innovation.

Regional Specialization:

As consumer tastes become more refined, restaurants are increasingly focusing on regional specialization. From authentic Italian trattorias to traditional Japanese izakayas, consumers are seeking unique and genuine culinary experiences.

Plant-Based Revolution:

The plant-based revolution continues to sweep through the industry, with an increasing number of restaurants offering innovative and delicious plant-based options. This shift not only caters to the growing demand for sustainable dining but also opens up new avenues for culinary creativity.

Technology Integration: A Digital Culinary Revolution:

Technology is reshaping the dining experience, from ordering to payment.

Contactless Dining:

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of contactless dining solutions. From QR code menus to digital payments, these technologies not only enhance safety but also contribute to a more streamlined and efficient dining experience.

Data-Driven Decision Making:

Restaurants are leveraging data analytics to gain insights into customer preferences, optimize pricing strategies, and enhance overall operational efficiency. This data-driven approach is proving instrumental in staying ahead in a competitive market.


In conclusion, the global restaurant industry in 2023 is a dynamic landscape where challenges are met with innovation, and change is embraced with enthusiasm. Despite the impact of inflation, chain operators and industry giants continue to set the pace, while culinary diversity, sustainability, and technological integration are shaping the future. As we savor the flavors of this ever-evolving industry, one thing is certain — the feast continues, offering a rich tapestry of experiences for diners and restaurateurs alike.

Here are some additional facts and figures about the global restaurant industry:

  • The United States is the largest foodservice market in the world, followed by China and Japan.
  • The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be the fastest-growing foodservice market in the coming years.
  • The fast food segment is the largest segment of the global foodservice market, followed by the full-service segment.
  • Casual dining restaurants are the fastest-growing segment of the full-service market.