Nearly 50 Percent of Restaurants Owned by Women

Nearly 50 Percent of Restaurants Owned by WomenAs millions of Americans dine out this Valentine’s Day, new research from the National Restaurant Association shows that nearly 50 percent of restaurants are now owned by women.

The research also shows that restaurants employ more minority managers than any other industry, and that Hispanic restaurant ownership has increased 42 percent in the past five years.

“As the second largest private sector employer in the country, the restaurant industry continues to provide opportunity for millions of individuals from all backgrounds who strive to achieve the American dream,” said Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs at the National Restaurant Association.  “The numbers are impressive – more women and individuals of diverse backgrounds are becoming restaurant entrepreneurs, or are pursuing lifelong, successful careers in the industry.”

The National Restaurant Association recently launched its “America Works Here” campaign, a year-long advertising campaign that will highlight some of the industry’s most impactful statistics and tell “chapters” in the restaurant industry’s story.  The first ad, launched in January, highlights the 13 million jobs created by restaurants, and the more than $1.7 trillion the industry added to the economy.

Nearly half of all Americans have worked in the restaurant industry at some point in their lives, and more than one in four adults had their first job experience in a restaurant.  Eighty percent of restaurant managers got their start as front-line employees.  Restaurants are primarily small businesses – 93 percent have fewer than 50 employees.

“Many lawmakers may not know that America’s restaurants run on an average profit margin of three to four percent,” said DeFife.  “It is critical that there is a commitment in Congress and in state capitols to a pro-business climate that helps America’s restaurants continue to be an engine of economic and job growth.”

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 960,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a work force of nearly 13 million employees. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to lead America’s restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence, and participation, enhancing the quality of life for all we serve. For more information, visit our Web site at