Filipino eateries account for only 1% of Asian restaurants in the US
Filipino and Indian restaurants are only a small portion of Asian restaurants in the US even though the communities’ populations account for nearly 40% of Asians in the U.S. combined, according to Pew Research.
Filipino restaurants account for only 1% of all Asian restaurants in the U.S. Indian restaurants account for only 7%.
Up to 60.8% of Filipinos were in the U.S. labor force in 2023, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which means Filipinos are mostly salaried or wage workers and do not rely on small businesses as a means of livelihood.
The recent rise in Filipinos’ presence in the restaurant industry may be largely a cultural phenomenon among younger members of the community whose pride in their culinary heritage fuses with the American culinary “revolution.”
Likewise, about 72 percent of Indian immigrants ages 16 and older were in the civilian labor force in 2021.
A big factor in the high participation of Filipinos and Indians in the US labor force is their working familiarity with the English language, a legacy from American and British colonialism.
Nearly seven-in-ten of all Asian restaurants in the U.S. serve the food of just three Asian origin groups: Chinese, Japanese and Thai. These groups together comprise 33% of the U.S. Asian population.
Here are some other key takeaways from the analysis, which is based on data from SafeGraph, a data company that curates high-precision data on millions of places around the globe.
Chinese establishments are by far the most common type of Asian restaurant in the U.S. Nearly four-in-ten Asian restaurants (39%) serve Chinese food. By comparison, Chinese Americans account for about a quarter of Asians living in the U.S. (24%).
Japanese and Thai food has spread widely, despite these groups’ relatively small shares of the U.S. population. Restaurants that serve Japanese food account for 28% of Asian restaurants in the U.S., making it the second-most common Asian cuisine. Japanese Americans, by comparison, are the sixth-largest Asian origin group in the country, comprising 7% of the U.S. Asian population.
Thai eating places make up 11% of all Asian restaurants – the third-most common cuisine behind Chinese and Japanese food, while just 2% of Asian Americans are Thai.