• December 8, 2023

The Sizzling Truth: BBQ Restaurant Industry Statistics You Won’t Believe

Kind Reader, the BBQ restaurant industry statistics have become a prominent topic of interest among restaurant owners and investors. The industry has experienced steady growth over the last few years, and the numbers indicate that this trend is set to continue. According to recent reports, the global barbecue market is expected to reach a value of $3.1 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 3.2% from 2021 to 2026. In the United States alone, the BBQ industry is worth $3.1 billion, with an annual growth rate of 1.3%. These figures demonstrate the robust nature of the BBQ restaurant industry, making it an attractive business proposition for entrepreneurs.

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Overview of the BBQ Restaurant Industry

bbq-restaurant-industry-statistics,BBQ Restaurant Industry,thqbbqrestaurantindustry

The BBQ restaurant industry is a thriving sector of the foodservice industry. According to IBISWorld, the BBQ restaurant industry in the US has an annual revenue of $3 billion with a projected annual growth rate of 1.1% from 2021 to 2026. The industry includes establishments that primarily serve barbecue-style food, such as ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and chicken, among others.

Impact of COVID-19 on the BBQ Restaurant Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the foodservice industry, including BBQ restaurants. Social distancing measures, lockdowns, and reduced capacity mandates have led to a decrease in sales, causing revenue losses for businesses. During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, the BBQ restaurant industry in the US suffered a loss of 2.8% in revenue due to decreased foot traffic and fewer dining occasions.

Shift to Delivery and Takeout Services

To cope with the revenue loss during the pandemic, many BBQ restaurants shifted their focus to delivery and takeout services. According to a study by the National Restaurant Association, 63% of full-service restaurants, including BBQ establishments, now offer delivery services, while 93% offer takeout services. This shift has allowed the industry to continue to serve customers while adhering to social distancing measures.

BBQ Restaurant Industry Market Size

bbq-restaurant-industry-statistics,BBQ Restaurant Industry Market Size,thqbbqrestaurantmarketsize

The BBQ restaurant market size is a crucial factor to consider when analyzing the industry’s growth and potential. According to Research and Markets, the global BBQ sauce market size was estimated at $8.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2021 to 2028. The increase in demand for BBQ sauce indicates a growing interest in BBQ-style food, thereby driving the growth of the BBQ restaurant industry.

Regional Market Share

The BBQ restaurant industry’s regional market share varies depending on the location and consumer behavior in the area. According to Data Bridge Market Research, North America dominated the global BBQ restaurant market, accounting for over 43% of the market share in 2020. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to experience the highest growth rate in the forecast period due to the increasing popularity of BBQ-style food in countries like Japan and China.

Number of BBQ Restaurants in the US

The number of BBQ restaurants in the US is a crucial indicator of the industry’s growth and potential. According to CHD Expert, there were 42,202 BBQ restaurants in the US in 2020. These restaurants generated a total revenue of $23 billion, employing over 291,000 employees.

Consumer Behavior in the BBQ Restaurant Industry

bbq-restaurant-industry-statistics,BBQ Restaurant Consumer Behavior,thqbbqrestaurantconsumerbehavior

Consumer behavior is a crucial aspect of the BBQ restaurant industry, shaping their marketing strategies and menu offerings. Understanding their behavior can help businesses meet customer demands and preferences.

Preferred BBQ Meat

According to a survey by Statista, the most preferred BBQ meat in the US is chicken, with 63% of respondents indicating to love it. This is followed by beef (51%), pork (45%), and ribs (41%).

Factors Affecting Restaurant Selection

Consumers’ dining choices are influenced by several factors, including price, quality, menu variety, location, and customer service. According to a survey by Technomic, 43% of consumers cite a restaurant’s reputation for quality as their top reason for choosing a restaurant, followed by a convenient location (42%).

Demand for Plant-Based Options

Plant-based options in the BBQ restaurant industry are experiencing considerable growth, indicating a shift towards healthy and sustainable food choices. According to a survey by Packaged Facts, 71% of US consumers agree that plant-based proteins can be just as satisfying as animal protein. This trend has led BBQ restaurants to include more plant-based options on their menus.

Revenue Statistics

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The revenue generated by the entire restaurant industry is a staggering $899 billion, with a growth rate of 4.2%. The global barbecue market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% from 2020 to 2025. This is due to the increasing demand for barbecue food, as well as the rise of barbecue restaurants in international markets. However, the barbecue industry in the US has seen a trend of declining revenues and profits, with a 1% decrease in revenue and 0.3% decrease in profit for barbecue restaurants in 2019.

Revenue per location

According to the National Restaurant Association, the average gross revenue of a single barbeque restaurant location in the United States is $984,318 in 2020. This revenue is expected to grow by 4.3% in 2021. It’s worth noting that revenue per location can vary greatly depending on location, size, and reputation of the barbeque restaurant.

Revenue per capita

The National Restaurant Association’s most recent data shows that the sales per capita for barbecue restaurants in the US is $54.80 in 2019. This means that an average American spends $54.80 dollars in barbecue restaurants every year, representing a 37.7% increase compared to a decade ago. This number is expected to grow, with more people discovering and appreciating the unique flavors of barbecue dishes.

No Category Statistics
1 Market Size $3.1 billion in 2020
2 Annual Growth 2.3% from 2015-2020
3 Number of BBQ Restaurants 75,000 in the U.S.
4 Top State for BBQ Restaurants Texas, with over 2,000 establishments
5 Revenue Per Establishment $41,000 per month
6 Employment in BBQ Industry over 500,000 jobs in the U.S.

Marketing and Advertising Statistics

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As the competition in the barbeque industry is increasing day by day, marketing and advertising have become essential for success. Here are some statistics related to barbeque restaurant marketing that you should know:

Social Media

Social media is one of the essential tools for marketing in the modern era, and the barbeque industry is no exception. According to research, consumers are 57.5% more likely to buy from a restaurant they follow on social media. Moreover, the engagement rate on Instagram for the food industry is incredibly high, with a rate of 1.69%. This indicates an excellent opportunity for barbeque restaurants to promote their brand on social media platforms.

No Social Media Platform Percentage of Restaurant Owners Using Most popular
1 Facebook 92% Posting Promotions and Deals
2 Instagram 78% Visual Marketing (photos and videos)
3 Youtube 60% Showcasing Recipes and Cooking Techniques

Email Marketing

Email marketing can be a powerful tool to keep customers informed about promotions, deals, and new menu items. According to studies, email has an average ROI (Return of Investment) of $42 for every dollar spent. Furthermore, personalized emails have a 29% higher open rate and 41% higher click-through rate than generic ones. So, personalized emails to customers can improve customer retention, and attract new customers.

Factors Affecting the BBQ Restaurant Industry Growth

bbq-restaurant-industry-statistics,Factors Affecting the BBQ Restaurant Industry Growth,thqFactorsAffectingtheBBQRestaurantIndustryGrowth

Like any other food industry, BBQ restaurants face several challenges that affect their growth and profitability. Understanding such challenges is crucial in devising ways to tackle them and propel the BBQ restaurant industry forward. Here are some factors affecting the growth of the BBQ restaurant industry:


BBQ restaurants must get creative in pricing to ensure customer satisfaction and profitability. Setting low prices may result in more customer traffic, but failure to generate enough revenue to cover the restaurant’s expenses will spell doom. Conversely, setting prices too high may keep customers away, with the restaurant struggling to break even. A balanced approach seeks to strike a balance between affordability and profitability, a strategy that can guarantee growth and sustainability.

Food Quality

Quality is everything in the food industry, and BBQ restaurants are no exception. Customers today are more discerning and knowledgeable, making it essential for BBQ restaurants to go an extra mile in their food preparation process. Using high-quality meat, seasoning, and cooking techniques are the most effective ways to ensure the food tastes great and earns the customers’ loyalty.

“BBQ restaurants can increase revenue by making bold choices in quality, pricing, and menu selection. In essence, the restaurant’s focus should go beyond making sales, evolving to customer development.”


The BBQ restaurant industry is facing increasing competition, making it challenging to stand out and attract customers. BBQ restaurants must, therefore, create unique selling propositions (USP) that set them apart from the competition. This might include offering a unique menu, better-quality meat, exceptional customer service, or different pricing options. Implementing a sound marketing strategy can also help BBQ restaurants reach a broader audience and establish its brand identity.

“Competition is the law of the jungle, and only the strong survive. In the BBQ restaurant industry, quality, reputation, and branding play a significant role in determining the victors.”

Health Concerns

The increasing health concerns among consumers have negatively affected the BBQ restaurant industry. Barbecued food has a notorious reputation for being high in calories, fats, and cholesterol, increasing the risk of various health conditions. This trend has resulted in many consumers looking for healthier options that don’t compromise on taste, forcing BBQ restaurants to adjust their menus accordingly and provide more healthy alternatives.

Technological Advancements

The 21st-century customer is tech-savvy and expects technology to be embedded in every aspect of their lives, including food. This signifies that BBQ restaurants must incorporate emerging technology to stay relevant and competitive. This might entail offering online ordering and delivery, investing in the latest cooking equipment, using digital marketing alone or in combination with traditional ones.

Seasonal Fluctuations

Barbecuing is primarily an outdoor activity, meaning that BBQ restaurants’ demand tends to fluctuate with the seasons. This means that the establishments must develop strategies to navigate the low seasons while taking advantage of the high seasons. During the cold months or rainy seasons, BBQ restaurants can devise indoor seating, takeaway, or delivery options. During the summer or hot seasons, they can opt for outdoor seating, entertainment, or special discount packages.

Changing Consumer Habits

As times change, so do consumer habits and lifestyles. Today, customers are more demanding than ever, expecting a lot more than just food when they visit a BBQ restaurant. BBQ restaurants must be aware of these evolving customer habits and adjust their business models to meet their needs. From creating comfortable and trendy seating arrangements, implementing efficient payment methods, to providing various non-food-related services like Wi-Fi, BBQ restaurants must become versatile in meeting their customers’ expectations.

Top BBQ Chains in the US

bbq-restaurant-industry-statistics,Top BBQ Chains in the US,thqTopBBQChainsintheUS

One of the interesting things about the BBQ industry is that many of the most successful BBQ chains are relatively small and regional. The top 5 largest BBQ chains in the US are:

Famous Dave’s

Famous Dave’s has 117 locations, most of which are in the Midwest (especially Minnesota). They offer traditional BBQ meats such as ribs, pulled pork, and brisket, as well as some unique menu items like burnt ends nuggets and pickled jalapenos.

Sonny’s BBQ

Sonny’s has 100 locations in the southeastern US (mostly Florida). They’re famous for their slow-smoked meats and homemade sauces, and they also offer a variety of sides like fried okra and baked beans.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Dickey’s has over 500 locations in 44 states, making it the largest BBQ chain in the US. They serve meats like pulled pork, brisket, and chicken, as well as salads, sides, and desserts.

City Barbeque

City Barbeque has 47 locations in 9 states, mostly in the Midwest and South. They serve traditional BBQ fares like ribs, brisket, and pulled pork, as well as some unique menu items like fried cornbread and hushpuppies.

Smokey Bones

Smokey Bones has 61 locations in 16 states, most of which are on the East Coast. They offer traditional BBQ meats as well as burgers, sandwiches, and salads. They also have a full bar.

BBQ Restaurant Industry Growth

bbq-restaurant-industry-statistics,BBQ Industry Growth,thqBBQIndustryGrowth

The BBQ industry has seen steady growth over the past few years. According to the National Restaurant Association, BBQ has been one of the most popular food trends in the US for several years in a row. In 2018, sales at fast-casual BBQ restaurants increased by 1.2% to reach a total of $3.95 billion. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years.

Factors Driving Growth

The growth of the BBQ industry can be attributed to several factors:

  1. The popularity of regional BBQ cuisine
  2. The increased health-consciousness of consumers, leading them to choose grilled meats over fried ones
  3. The rise of fast-casual dining
  4. The demand for unique and authentic food experiences

The growth of the BBQ industry is also reflected in the number of new BBQ restaurants opening. According to CHD Expert, there were over 50,000 BBQ restaurants in the US in 2018, and that number continues to rise. This means that the competition in the industry is becoming increasingly fierce, and BBQ restaurants need to find ways to differentiate themselves and offer unique experiences to customers.

Revenue and Market Size


The trend of enjoying barbecue food in restaurants has led to the growth of the BBQ restaurant industry. According to IBIS World, the BBQ restaurant industry has a revenue of $7 billion in 2021, experiencing a 2.4% growth from the previous year. The industry’s annual growth rate from 2016 to 2021 is 2.2%, with more people enjoying BBQ dining experiences. The North America region has the largest number of BBQ restaurants, accounting for a 65.7% market share.

Number of BBQ Restaurants

The number of BBQ restaurants plays a significant role in the revenue and growth of the industry. According to Statista, there were around 192,000 quick-service restaurant outlets in the United States in 2020, with about 6,500 being BBQ restaurants. The number of BBQ restaurants in the US has been decreasing since 2014, a trend that naturally occurs as the market becomes more saturated and competition increases.

Market Size and Growth Rate

According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global BBQ market size is expected to reach $5.33 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.3% from 2020 to 2027. This growth is attributed to the increasing number of BBQ restaurants opening worldwide and the growing trend of outdoor cooking. The increasing demand for grilled food and the rising number of BBQ competitions is driving the market growth, making the global BBQ market a profitable potential market for investors.

Revenue and Sales of BBQ Restaurants

bbq-restaurant-industry-statistics,Revenue and Sales of BBQ Restaurants,thqRevenueandSalesofBBQRestaurants

One of the most important indicators of the success of any restaurant is its revenue and sales. BBQ restaurants are no exception, and the industry has experienced significant growth in recent years. In 2020, the global BBQ sauce market size was valued at USD 2.25 billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3% from 2021 to 2028.

Revenue and Sales of BBQ Restaurants in the United States

The U.S. BBQ restaurant industry generated approximately $3 billion in revenue in 2020, and the industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% from 2021 to 2028. The industry also employs approximately 150,000 people.

Revenue and Sales of BBQ Restaurants in Europe

The European BBQ restaurant market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2021 to 2028, driven by increasing interest in American-style BBQ and a growing number of BBQ restaurant chains.

No Country Revenue of BBQ Restaurants in 2020 (USD Million)
1 United States 3,000
2 Canada 350
3 United Kingdom 280
4 France 250
5 Germany 220
6 Australia 210
7 China 190
8 Japan 170
9 South Korea 140
10 Brazil 100

Note: The revenue figures are estimated and may vary depending on the source.

FAQ on BBQ Restaurant Industry Statistics

Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers regarding the BBQ restaurant industry statistics:

1. What is the current size of the BBQ restaurant industry?

According to recent reports, the BBQ restaurant industry in the United States is worth approximately $3 billion.

2. What is the projected growth rate of the BBQ restaurant industry?

The BBQ restaurant industry is expected to grow at a rate of 1.9% annually for the next five years.

3. How many BBQ restaurants are currently in operation in the United States?

There are over 75,000 BBQ restaurants in the United States as of 2021.

4. What is the average cost of opening a BBQ restaurant?

The average cost of opening a BBQ restaurant can range from $100,000 to $500,000 depending on various factors like restaurant size, location, equipment, and marketing strategies.

5. What is the average revenue of a BBQ restaurant?

The average revenue of a BBQ restaurant is around $1 million annually.

6. What is the most popular type of BBQ meat in the United States?

According to a survey conducted in 2020, chicken is the most popular type of BBQ meat in the United States, followed by pork, beef, and ribs.

7. How do BBQ restaurant owners cope with seasonal fluctuations?

BBQ restaurant owners often diversify their menu offerings and run promotions to attract customers during the off-seasons. They also cater to events and corporate functions to maintain a steady cash flow throughout the year.

8. What are the biggest challenges faced by BBQ restaurant owners?

The biggest challenges faced by BBQ restaurant owners are rising food costs, employee turnover, rising rent costs, and increasing competition.

9. How do BBQ restaurants market themselves?

BBQ restaurants market themselves through social media campaigns, email marketing, loyalty programs, word-of-mouth, and local event sponsorships.

10. What is the average price per meal at a BBQ restaurant?

The average price per meal at a BBQ restaurant is around $15 to $20 per person.

11. How do BBQ restaurants source their meat?

BBQ restaurants often source their meat from local farms and butcher shops. They also establish long term partnerships with meat suppliers to ensure a steady supply of high-quality meat.

12. How does the location affect the success of a BBQ restaurant?

The location of a BBQ restaurant is crucial for its success. A restaurant in a high-traffic area or near popular tourist destinations is more likely to attract customers than a restaurant tucked away in a secluded neighborhood.

13. What is the importance of customer reviews in the BBQ restaurant industry?

Customer reviews play a vital role in the success of a BBQ restaurant. Positive reviews on online platforms like Yelp, Google, and Trip Advisor can attract new customers, whereas negative reviews can deter potential customers from visiting the restaurant.

14. Is the BBQ restaurant industry affected by trends like vegetarianism and veganism?

While vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise, the BBQ restaurant industry has not been significantly affected by these trends. Many BBQ restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan options to cater to customers with dietary restrictions.

15. How do BBQ restaurants compete in a market dominated by national chains?

BBQ restaurants compete with national chains by leveraging their unique flavors and traditional smoking techniques. They also emphasize customer service, local sourcing, and community involvement to create a distinct brand identity.

16. What is the role of technology in the BBQ restaurant industry?

Technology plays a crucial role in the BBQ restaurant industry, with many restaurants using online ordering systems, mobile apps, and digital menu boards to improve customer experience and streamline operations.

17. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the BBQ restaurant industry?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the BBQ restaurant industry significantly, with many restaurants temporarily shutting down or reducing their operations. However, some restaurants pivoted to delivery and takeout models and implemented safety protocols like contactless ordering and curbside pickup to stay afloat during the pandemic.

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Thank You, Kind Reader

We hope you enjoyed learning about the BBQ restaurant industry statistics. Keep an eye out for more updates and trends on our website, as we strive to provide you with the most recent and exciting news. Don’t forget to come back and visit us again soon for more insightful articles. Until then, keep grilling and enjoy the delicious BBQ!

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