9 Billion Burgers Served At U.S. Restaurants Last Year

Oof. Can you feel it? I’m talking about the feeling of nine billion burgers hitting American stomachs last year. Across the country, fast-food joints, casual dining restaurants and other eateries served up 3% more burgers in 2014 than in 2013. And while surely some of those never made it to their intestinal destinations, that’s still a lot of burger eating.

People aren’t going to restaurants more than they did in the year before, NPD Group reports (via BurgerBusiness.com), but burgers enjoyed a certain level of popularity that made a ding in the growth of your everyday sandwich.

Sandwich servings were down 2% in 2014, which comes down to a loss of about 201 million servings. Chicken sandwiches are the outcasts at the lunch table right now, dropping a whopping 9%/129 million servings.

Interestingly enough, one of the reasons behind the uptick in burgers is due to a shortage of beef. That means cheaper cuts and ground meat are going to grace more menus. And indeed, beef entree servings were down 8%.

“The success of burgers in 2014 was a combination of factors,” said Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “Quick service restaurant chains launched new burger item, casual-dining restaurants added more burger items to the menu to offset higher beef costs and Americans simply love their burgers.”