Survey Finds Americans Eating In More Often

Discussion
Mar 06, 2002
George Anderson

The fall of 2001 was difficult for the dining industry because Americans ate out less often, according to a nationwide survey by Harris Interactive(SM). The decline appears to be due to broad social factors such as the state of the U.S. economy, which was already in recession before 9/11, reports Yahoo.

These results suggest that in the months ahead restaurants need to deal with two trends. First, there is a long-term trend towards a more sophisticated, more demanding clientele wanting better quality, healthier and more varied food, which most restaurants are already responding to. Also, there is likely to be considerable short-term pressure on prices as a result of the recession, which may have been deepened, in the 4th quarter of 2001, by the aftermath of 9/11. Restaurants will face significant pricing issues, at least until the recession ends, dependent upon the timing of recovery and the recession’s strength and duration.

Moderator Comment: Will the expected upturn in the economy create jobs and a corresponding lift in meals purchased from restaurants?

  • Lack of time (work, work, work) + disposable income (direct deposit) = eating out (meals at the desk, in the car, take-out etc.)

  • Excess time (AKA unemployment) + lack of funds (unemployment compensation) = dining in (Mac &Cheese)

[George Anderson – Moderator]

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