Survey Reveals Consumer Cutbacks on Restaurant Visits Due to Rising Costs

In Q3 2023, the strain of inflation left a significant impact on restaurant spending in the United States. According to a recent survey conducted by Revenue Management Solutions, consumer behavior has shifted due to rising costs. 

The survey, which involved 566 respondents, including boomers (36%), millennials (26%), Gen X-ers (24%), and Gen Z (14%), revealed that consumers are cutting back on their restaurant orders.

The study found that nearly 41% of respondents are spending less of their disposable income on restaurants compared to 2022. A majority of consumers, more than two-thirds, believe they are paying more at restaurants for their meals. Consequently, they are reducing their restaurant visits, ordering fewer items, or opting for less expensive dining establishments.

Dine-out intentions have taken a hit, with fewer than 20% of respondents planning to use restaurants more frequently in the future.

Source: RMS

Notably, these intentions vary significantly by generation, with millennials seeing a substantial decrease of almost 30% year over year, while Gen Z intentions decreased by 4% year over year.

Source: RMS

In terms of specific trends in restaurant behavior, the survey showed that the percentage of those ordering “less” or “much less” food grew substantially in Q3. This trend was observed across different types of restaurants, including full-service (from 30% to 45%), fast-casual (from 26% to 45%), and quick-service restaurants (from 18% to 31%).

Additionally, the share of respondents reporting at least one weekly delivery, takeout, or drive-thru occasion decreased by at least 13% year over year. On the contrary, dine-in usage saw a slight increase.

Source: RMS

Despite these changes, the number of respondents who believe they are paying higher prices for groceries and restaurant meals remained consistent throughout 2023. 76% expressed higher costs for food at home, while 69% reported increased expenses for food away from home.

Information for this story was found via RMS, X, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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