Fast Food Worker Statistics and Facts in the US

Research Summary. Using a database of 30 million profiles, Zippia estimates demographics and statistics for fast food workers in the United States. Our estimates are verified against BLS, Census, and current job openings data for accuracy. After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • There are over 36,834 fast food workers currently employed in the United States.
  • 51.2% of all fast food workers are women, while only 43.5% are men.
  • The average age of an employed fast food worker is 27 years old.
  • The most common ethnicity of fast food workers is White (66.3%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (15.3%) and Black or African American (10.8%).
  • The majority of fast food workers are located in TX, Houston and NY, New York.
  • Fast food workers are most in-demand in Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Fast food workers are paid an average annual salary of $25,848.
  • The hospitality industry is the highest-paying for fast food workers.
  • Falmouth, MA pays an annual average wage of $31,309, the highest in the US.
  • Fast food workers average starting salary is $18,000.
  • In 2021, women earned 100% of what men earned.
  • The top 10% of highest-paid fast food workers earn as much as $35,000 or more.
  • 12% of all fast food workers are LGBT.
  • Washington is the best state for fast food workers to live.
  • Fast food workers are more likely to work at private companies in comparison to public companies.

Fast Food Worker Statistics By Gender

Among fast food workers, 51.2% of them are women compared to 43.5% which are men.

Job Title
  • Female, 51.2%
  • Male, 43.5%
  • Unknown, 5.3%
Job Title
GenderascdescPercentagesascdesc
Female
51.2%
Male
43.5%
Unknown
5.3%

Gender Pay Gap For Fast Food Worker

Women Earn $1.00 For Every $1 Earned By Man

male-income
Male Income
$21,391
female-income
Female Income
$21,417

Fast Food Worker Gender Over Time

This data shows how men and women predominate in the fast food worker position over time.

Male
Female
42%
39%
36%
32%
29%
26%
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
YearascdescMaleascdescFemaleascdesc
2008
31.86%
68.14%
2009
31.77%
68.23%
2010
33.28%
66.72%
2011
32.79%
67.21%
2012
33.98%
66.02%
2013
32.99%
67.01%
2014
34.43%
65.57%
2015
33.29%
66.71%
2016
35.31%
64.69%
2017
37.82%
62.18%
2018
34.69%
65.31%

Fast Food Worker Male to Female Ratio

We compared this job title with other job titles to see how gender percentages varied. As you can see, busboy/waiter and host/waiter have the biggest difference in gender.

Compare Jobs
Job Titleascdesc
Maleasc
Femaleascdesc
Head Waitress8%89%
Cocktail Waitress8%89%
Bartender, Cook, And Waitress8%89%
Fast Food Worker43%51%
Bar Back & Bartender80%15%
Host/Waiter83%12%
Busboy/Waiter90%6%
Male
Female
100%
75%
50%
25%
0%
Busboy/Waiter
Host/Waiter
Bar Back & Bartender
Fast Food Worker
Bartender, Cook, And Waitress
Cocktail Waitress
Head Waitress
0%
25%
50%
75%
100%

Fast Food Worker Statistics By Race

The most common ethnicity among fast food workers is White, which makes up 66.3% of all fast food workers. Comparatively, there are 15.3% of the Hispanic or Latino ethnicity and 10.8% of the Black or African American ethnicity.

Job Title
  • White, 66.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino, 15.3%
  • Black or African American, 10.8%
  • Asian, 4.3%
  • Unknown, 2.7%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.6%
Job Title
Fast Food Worker RaceascdescPercentagesascdesc
White
66.3%
Hispanic or Latino
15.3%
Black or African American
10.8%
Asian
4.3%
Unknown
2.7%
American Indian and Alaska Native
0.6%

Fast Food Worker Race And Ethnicity Over Time

Using the Census Bureau data, we found out how the percentage of each ethnic category trended between 2008-2018 among fast food workers.

  • White
  • Asian
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Black or African American
YearascdescWhiteascdescBlack or African AmericanascdescAsianascdescHispanic or Latinoascdesc
2010
67.50%
12.41%
2.41%
14.87%
2011
68.44%
13.87%
2.64%
12.85%
2012
67.26%
13.77%
3.06%
13.26%
2013
66.38%
13.09%
2.81%
15.18%
2014
66.31%
13.93%
3.03%
14.00%
2015
66.57%
12.73%
3.99%
13.88%
2016
65.20%
12.81%
3.27%
15.14%
2017
63.91%
12.80%
3.91%
15.24%
2018
66.30%
10.84%
4.33%
15.33%

Fast Food Worker Wage Gap By Race

Hispanic or latino fast food workers have the highest average salary compared to other ethnicities. Black or african american fast food workers have the lowest average salary at $21,067.
$23,000
$22,000
$21,000
Unknown
White
Black or African American
Asian
Hispanic or Latino
Ethnicityascdesc
Salaryascdesc
Unknown$21,150
White$21,219
Black or African American$21,067
Asian$21,627
Hispanic or Latino$21,956

Average Age of a Fast Food Worker

We determined the average age of fast food workers based on ethnicity and gender.

Male
Female
RaceascdescMale AgeascdescFemale Ageascdesc
Black or African American
21
25
Unknown
20
22
Asian
28
30
Hispanic or Latino
21
23
White
22
24
American Indian and Alaska Native
27

Fast Food Worker Age Breakdown

This chart breaks down the ages of fast food worker employees. Interestingly enough, the average age of fast food workers is 20-30 years old, which represents 41% of the population.

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20-30 years

30-40 years

40+ years


Fast Food Worker YearsascdescPercentagesascdesc
20-30 years
41%
30-40 years
15%
40+ years
17%

Types of Fast Food Worker Degree Levels

The most common degree for fast food workers is high school diploma 63% of fast food workers earn that degree. A close second is diploma with 13% and rounding it off is associate degree with 11%.

Job Title
  • High School Diploma, 63%
  • Diploma, 13%
  • Associate, 11%
  • Bachelors, 9%
  • Other Degrees, 4%
Job Title
Fast Food Worker DegreeascdescPercentagesascdesc
High School Diploma
63%
Diploma
13%
Associate
11%
Bachelors
9%
Other Degrees
4%

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Fast Food Worker Wage Gap By Education

Fast food workers with a Masters degree earn more than those without, at $23,216 annually. With a Bachelors degree, fast food workers earn a median annual income of $22,607 compared to $22,186 for fast food workers with an Associate degree.
$24,000
$23,000
$22,000
$21,000
High School Diploma or Less
Master's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Some College/ Associate Degree
Educationascdesc
Salaryascdesc
High School Diploma or Less$21,417
Master's Degree$23,216
Bachelor's Degree$22,607
Some College/ Associate Degree$22,186

Fast Food Worker Employment Statistics

This section highlights the information we gathered about the types of businesses and industries that employ fast food workers. We found that the most common company type is private. In addition, the industry that employs the most fast food workers is the hospitality industry.

Company Size

We created this chart to show you the average size of companies that typically hire fast food workers.

Compare Jobs

< 50 employees

100 - 500 employees

500 - 1,000 employees

1,000 - 10,000 employees

> 10,000

Company SizeascdescPercentagesascdesc
< 50 employees
5%
100 - 500 employees
12%
500 - 1,000 employees
13%
1,000 - 10,000 employees
42%
> 10,000 employees
27%

The Types Of Companies Fast Food Worker Work In

Employees with the fast food worker job title have their preferences when it comes to working for a company. For instance, most fast food workers prefer to work at private companies over public companies.

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Education

Public

Private

Company TypeascdescPercentagesascdesc
Education
2%
Public
29%
Private
70%

Top Industries Hiring Fast Food Workers

Just based on the number of employees within each industry, we were able to determine the most common industries that employ fast food workers. Those industries include hospitality, retail and manufacturing.

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Hospitality

Retail

Fortune 500

Manufacturing

Professional

IndustryascdescPercentagesascdesc
Hospitality
68%
Retail
6%
Fortune 500
5%
Manufacturing
5%
Professional
4%
Construction
2%
Technology
2%
Transportation
1%
Telecommunication
1%
Media
1%
Energy
1%
Non Profits
1%
Health Care
1%
Automotive
1%

Fast Food Worker Turnover And Employment Statistics

Fast Food Worker Unemployment Rate Over Time

The Bureau of Labor Statistics came in clutch when it came down to figuring out how the unemployment rate has changed over time. Between 2008 and 2018, this is how the number of fast food workers changed.

  • Unemployment rate
YearascdescFast Food Worker Unemployment Rateascdesc
2010
14.75%
2011
16.23%
2012
13.34%
2013
12.58%
2014
10.04%
2015
8.71%
2016
10.19%
2017
9.58%
2018
9.31%

The Average Number of Years That Fast Food Worker Stay in a Job

By looking over 4,451 fast food workers resumes, we figured out that the average fast food worker enjoys staying at their job for Less than 1 year for a percentage of 44%.

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Less than one year

1-2 years

3-4 years

5-7 years

8-10 years

11+ years


Number or YearsascdescPercentagesascdesc
Less than 1 year
44%
1-2 years
34%
3-4 years
9%
5-7 years
9%
8-10 years
2%
11+ years
2%

Comparing The LGBT Ratio of Fast Food Workers with Other Job Titles

After finding the gender ratio, we wondered if the percentages of LGBT persons were different as well. Using the data below, you can see how other job titles compare to fast food workers.

Compare Jobs
Job Titleascdesc
LGBTasc
Line Runner6.20%
Dish Washer7.11%
Bar Back7.39%
Lead Cook8.79%
Cupola Tender9.06%
Bartender, Cook, And Waitress9.75%
Fast Food Worker11.55%

ProfessionascdescPercentages of LGBT ascdesc
Line Runner
6.20%
Dish Washer
7.11%
Bar Back
7.39%
Lead Cook
8.79%
Cupola Tender
9.06%
Bartender, Cook, And Waitress
9.75%

Foreign Languages Spoken By Fast Food Workers

The most common foreign language among fast food workers is Spanish at 64.6%. The second-most popular foreign language spoken is French at 10.1% and German is the third-most popular at 5.1%.

Job Title
  • Spanish, 64.6%
  • French, 10.1%
  • German, 5.1%
  • Portuguese, 2.5%
  • Bulgarian, 1.3%
  • Other, 16.4%
Job Title
Foreign LanguageascdescPercentagesascdesc
Spanish
64.6%
French
10.1%
German
5.1%
Portuguese
2.5%
Bulgarian
1.3%
Other
16.4%

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Fast Food Worker Heatmaps

The amount you can make as a fast food worker can depend on where you live. For example, the highest salary of fast food workers is $27,541. Use our chart to find out where that salary is located.

Where Do Fast Food Workers Earn The Most?

The map here shows where fast food workers earn the highest salaries in the U.S. The darker areas across the 50 states highlight the highest salaries.

Average Salary

Where Are Fast Food Workers Located?

By looking through more than 4,451 resumes, we found that the most popular places for fast food workers are TX, Houston and NY, New York.

Number of Fast Food Workers