The US food service contracting industry includes about 3,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $34 billion, reports the Research & Markets consulting/research firm in its recently released "Food Service Contractors" report. The report notes that the industry is highly concentrated, with the 50 largest companies accounting for about 90 percent of revenue. (For more on those 50 largest companies, see Food Management's annual Top 50 Contract Management Companies feature. The 2012 top 50 will be published in September.)
Large companies have advantages in economies of scale in food and equipment purchasing, off-site food preparation, and distribution, the report notes, while small companies can compete effectively by specializing in unique food products or local markets. The industry is labor-intensive, with an average annual revenue per worker of about $80,000.