Survey Finds Americans Eating In More Often

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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