Skip to main content

Restaurant openings up year-over-year — so is diner spend, tipping

Zach Russell headshot
Diners spent more at restaurants in 2023 compared to the year prior.

Consumers continued to dine out in 2023 despite the uncertain economy. 

New restaurant openings and diner spend both increased up year-over-year in 2023, according to a new report from restaurant technology partner BentoBox. The study revealed that 10,608 restaurants opened across the U.S. as of Sept. 30, about 6% more than in 2022. 

Florida led with the most restaurant openings, with 1,256 across the state–almost, a 9% increase over 2022.  Texas (1,056), North Carolina (586) and Pennsylvania (457) rounded out the top five for most new restaurant openings prior to October 2023. Texas (-3.4%) and Pennsylvania (-2.3%) saw YoY decreases in new restaurants, however.

California, however,  had the largest YoY growth, with 930 openings, an increase of almost 15% compared to last year.

According to the 2023 Restaurant Trend Report, diners spent about 7% more on restaurants this year. The average check total was $22.46.

Other findings from the report are below.

•Diners tipped more often in 2023 as well. More than 60% of those surveyed by BentoBox said they are asked more often to leave a tip than they are used to, while 58% said they felt pressured to tip for services they didn’t anticipate tipping for.

•Fifty-four percent said they never know if tipping is optional or expected. A large majority of those surveyed said that restaurants should pay their staff more instead of asking patrons to tip (74%), but a greater percentage (80%) said that they enjoy tipping because it rewards good service.

•​​In 2023, job listings on restaurant websites reflected the restaurant industry's awareness of the demands made by their workforce. Specific terms in job listings on restaurant websites saw large growth compared to 2022: 386% increase in "PTO”; 175% increase in "paid vacation"; 100% increase in "health care"; and 53% increase in "mental health."

“The era of employee empowerment will continue in 2024, with more restaurants promoting themselves as worker-friendly both to potential employees and to diners,” said BentoBox in the report. “Look for non-compensation benefits like health insurance and paid time off to become more common – and to appear on menus and websites.”

The full report can be found here.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds