Restaurants have proved themselves as a successful and enduring business model, having been around for thousands of years. In the United States, the health of the restaurant sector is now widely seen as an indicator of the overall health of the country’s finances. In a time when other high street services such as shops are struggling, the restaurant industry continues to experience a boom. Statistics show that over 10 million people work in the restaurant industry in the United States, and few people in the business lost their jobs during the financial crisis.
It’s not all good news though. People who work in restaurants are some of the lowest paid workers in the world. This is true for both those in the United States and others around the world. If you work in a restaurant in America, then statistics show that you are three times more likely to be living in poverty, than if you work in another industry. The average wage for waiters working in restaurants in the United States is $8.84 per hour; this is a fraction over the minimum wage in America. Those who run the industry, cite the reason for these low wages as the small profit margins, which restaurants operate with (around 4 to 5 %). However, these are not significantly lower than other businesses, or industries, who often pay higher wages. Those who work in the restaurant industry are also more likely to have a low education status, and there is also a disproportionate amount of immigrants who work in this industry when compared to the population at large.
While the restaurant industry is thriving overall, this doesn’t mean that all restaurants are a success. However, with more and more people choosing to eat out on a regular basis, it is one of the few sectors which seems to have stable growth overall. Recent studies show that the restaurant sector is worth a staggering $683.4 billion to the United States economy; a number which is continuing to grow year on year. However, customers are also demanding better service and higher quality food. The extensive choice of restaurants available, also means that the market dictates that customers have a great deal of choice in where they opt to dine.