For the first time since 1992, in March of this year, grocery store sales has been surpassed by dining out sales. This is truly a testament of the times in which we live in, proving that we are a mobile culture, now more than ever, always on the go. Could it be that people would rather spend the money dining out than cooking at home? Or is it that people just don’t have the time or the patience to cook at home anymore? Let’s dig a little deeper into the cause of this change.
1. Which age groups are dining out the most? Baby Boomers and Millennials, followed by Generation X-ers. Most Baby Boomers are in retirement and are eating out a lot and also spending more on each visit. Millennials, the 2nd largest generation, are a diverse, mobile, tech-savvy group who generally live in mid-sized metropolitan areas. Though they have less spending power than the Baby Boomers typically do, Millennials tend to dine out at least twice a week. These 2 generations, at opposite ends of the spectrum, are very social generations, with Baby Boomers having more time with their current lifestyle to enjoy life and Millennials, most either living at home or in the city, go out more to hang out with their friends.
2. The U.S. economy has been improving since the recession of 2009, when the unemployment rate was 9.3%. Now unemployment has decreased to just 6.2%, meaning that more people are working, and in turn have more disposable income. Naturally, more disposable income equates to more dining out. Today’s typical consumer has a very busy lifestyle; some are working multiple jobs and night shifts, and are looking for convenient and quick dining options. Customized menus and new dining formats are on the increase and are driving significant revenues to restaurants’ bottom lines. The National Restaurant Association’s positive outlook for 2015 specified that the industry’s sales this year are forecasted to reach an impressive $709 billion, with 1 million restaurants employing 14 million people.
Are you surprised by this? Do you dine out a lot or cook more at home?
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- (2015, January 27). Re: Positive Outlook for 2015, retrieved from National Restaurant Association, http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/Restaurant-Industry-Forecast-Positive-outlook-for