2020 Menu & Sales Trends: Comfort Food Is Up, Tips are Down

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Nov. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The state of the restaurant industry is ever-evolving, but nothing could have prepared restaurant owners and operators for 2020. Upserve’s annual report assesses sales and menu trends from over 10,000 US restaurants to find out what menu items sold best in 2020 for online ordering, in-house dining, and at James Beard Award-winning restaurants.

This report also includes data from 10 restaurants who managed to beat the odds and were able to grow their year-over-year sales by up to 188%!

“In uncertain times it’s critical to have as much information at our disposal as possible,” said Thomas Keller Group CEO Joe Essa. “The data in this report will hopefully help restaurateurs and operators make decisions in the coming month, and lend them new strategies and tactics to consider for their businesses.” 

2020 Restaurant Industry Menu Trends

  • Online Ordering is obviously huge in 2020, and customers are craving comfort food when they’re ordering in (can you blame us?). Online Ordering sales of sandwiches (21%), pizza (+9%), burgers (+10%), and fried chicken (+5%) were up from last year. 
  • When it comes to dine-in, guests are going big with seafood (+17%) and steak (+8%) topping the list. With guests dining out less, it makes sense that they are ordering bigger ticket items when they do. 
  • James Beard Award-winning restaurants drive industry trends, but this year they opted for simple, family-style meals to meet consumer demand for takeout, while keeping more special options available via popular tasting menus for dine-in.

Download the full report

to see the top 10 most-ordered items, find out how menu trends varied by restaurant type, and more.

2020 Sales Trends in the Restaurant Industry 

  • We break down sales trends in major restaurant cities and found Boston, NOLA, and San Francisco were hardest hit when it comes to year-over-year revenue.
  • While all types of restaurants saw a dip in sales starting in mid-to-late March, bars and fine dining establishments were hardest hit.
  • Restaurant tips took a dive in 2020: They’re down 6% on average and dipped to their lowest at the peak of the pandemic.



2020 State of the Restaurant Industry Report to see the whole story.


Upserve is the magic ingredient that helps restaurateurs become wildly successful, providing everything you need to manage a restaurant in a single hub. Upserve offers the market-leading cloud restaurant POS, actionable insights, transparent processing, online ordering, automated inventory, workforce tools, and mobile restaurant management. Over 10,000 restaurants use Upserve to manage relationships with more than 57 million active diners, process over $11 billion in annual sales and serve over 36 million meals per month.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at: 



Amber van Moessner
1 (855) 66G ETUP
[email protected]