BentoBox’s 2023 Restaurant Trend Report Reveals Increase in Restaurant Spending Across the U.S., with Over 10,000 Restaurants Opening to Meet Demand

BentoBox’s annual report also includes findings on restaurant employment, benefits, reservations and gift cards among others.

NEW YORK, Dec. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — BentoBox, the Official Restaurant Technology Partner of the James Beard Foundation (JBF), today announced its 2023 Restaurant Trend Report, a data-forward look at the seven trends that defined the industry this year.

With the problems that defined the previous year evening out, including high inflation and labor shortages, the Restaurant Trend Report breaks down how the industry has bounced back and what we can expect in 2024.

Here are the year’s leading trends:

1. Restaurant spending and openings grew: Diners spent more on restaurants this year, and many restaurants opened to meet the increased demand.

    • Diners spent about 7% more on restaurants this year, with an average check total of $22.46.
    • 10,608 restaurants opened across the US, about 6% more than in 2022.
    • Florida led with the most restaurant openings, with 1,256 across the state–almost 9% more than in 2022. California had the largest YOY growth, with 930 openings–almost 15% more than last year.

2. Employment finally surpassed pre-pandemic numbers: September 2023 marked the first time in 3 1/2 years that U.S. bars & restaurants returned to and surpassed pre-pandemic levels of employment.

    • In September this year, there were 12.37 million active restaurant jobs, surpassing 12.34 million in February 2020.

3. Restaurants are prioritizing benefits: Job listings on restaurant websites reflected the restaurant industry’s awareness of the demands made by their workforce.

    • Growth of specific terms in job listings on restaurant websites:
      • 386% increase in “PTO”
      • 175% increase in “paid vacation”
      • 100% increase in “health care”
      • 53% increase in “mental health”
    • Looking ahead to 2024, more restaurants will start to advertise as great places to work.

4. Diners prefer walk-ins to reservations: Diners were more spontaneous and made more plans to meet up and walk into restaurants.

    • Walk-in parties accounted for almost three-quarters of restaurant tables and were twice as common as reservations.
    • Nearly three-quarters (71%) of all reservations were made on mobile.
    • 18 hours was the average lead time for reservations.

5. Gift cards are more popular and more personal than ever: The average value of gift cards is $132.25, up 4% from 2022. 53% of people are now redeeming the cards, up 13% from 2022.

    • 2 out of 3 gift cards were bought to commemorate a special occasion and 87% featured a written note.
    • 83% of gift card notes were personal in nature. Nearly half featured the word “love” and 29% of them featured the word “Christmas.” Heartfelt notes were six times as common as lighthearted notes.

Visit to access the full report and read about emerging trends to watch for in 2024 including A.I., automation, brand collaborations and more. For additional information on BentoBox’s 2023 Restaurant Trend Report, please contact [email protected].

About BentoBox

BentoBox, the Official Restaurant Technology Partner of the James Beard Foundation, empowers thousands of restaurants to deliver on their mission of hospitality. With the BentoBox Marketing & Commerce Platform, restaurants are able to unify their technology into an all-in-one commerce engine that delivers a seamless guest experience, a better operator experience and sustainable growth. The platform enables restaurants to build their online presence, diversify revenue, engage with diners and increase operational efficiency through websites, ordering, reservations, marketing tools and more. BentoBox is part of Fiserv, Inc. (NYSE: FI).


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