Full- and limited-service restaurants have nearly equal shares of the eating out market
Food-away-from-home sales reached $594 billion in 2010, representing 48 percent of total food sales. Together, full-service restaurants and limited-service eating places, such as fast food, accounted for 76.8 percent of away-from-home sales in 2010. In 1982, these two segments had a 70.3 percent share. At that time, full-service restaurants had a slightly larger share at 41 percent, while limited-service eating places' share was just 29.3 percent. The shares of food away from home sold at schools and colleges and at stores, bars, and vending machines were lower in 2010 than in 1982. The data for this chart come from ERS's Food Expenditure Table 15, updated July, 2011. More information on U.S. food expenditures can be found in the Food Prices, Expenditures & Costs topic on the ERS website.
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