Women and the Culinary Industry

January 09, 2020
In this issue’s “By the Numbers” infographic, we highlight the contribution of women to the culinary industry.

The culinary world is constantly expanding, and women represent a significant portion of restaurant owners and employees at all levels. Women are also highly influential consumers, accounting for 93% of household food purchases, which underscores the importance of diversity and inclusion in the industry.

  • The Culinary Industry’s Significant Footprint
    • The culinary industry contributes $863 billion to the overall economy – an increase from $43 billion since 1970.
    • Restaurant industry share of food: 25% in 1995 vs. 51% in 2019.
    • Restaurant contribution to overall US workforce: 10%
    • Restaurant industry employees in 2019: 15.3M
    • New restaurant jobs to be created in 2029: 1.6M
  • Women Working in the Culinary Industry
    •  Restaurants employ more women managers compared to any other industry.
      • 60% of American women have worked in the restaurant industry at some point in their life
      • 50% of culinary school graduates are women
      •  59% of food prep workers in the US are women
    •  Women in the culinary industry
      • 52% of restaurant staff in the US
      • 71% of all servers in the US
      • 41% of fine dining bartenders
      • 55% of family-style restaurant bartenders
      • 19% of chef’s positions in the US
      • 23% of the chefs and head cooks in the US
  • Women in the Culinary Industry as Leaders and Business Owners
    • The industry is starting to see women as an emerging force, as “trust” is perceived as the highest regarded benefit of having women in leadership positions.
      • Women represent 23% of the food industry’s C-suite executives
      • Of half of all restaurants in the US, women have at least 50% of either full or shared ownership
      • Restaurants owned and run by women have grown more than 3x faster than the overall restaurant industry
      • 50% of special food services businesses (including food trucks and catering) are owned or co-owned by women

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