Consumers still want to dine out, even amid recession concerns

As the holidays approach and so does the possibility of a recession, there are mixed reviews on predicted restaurant traffic.  

Dining in restaurants is on the decline for people with lower incomes. In this year’s second quarter, one of four diners bringing in less than $45,000 per year didn’t eat out at all. That being said, 58 per cent of diners are eating more restaurant food than they did in 2021.

However, even with some drop in traffic in the lower income brackets, there’s still good news to be had.

Though experts have predicted that the restaurant industry is in for a long-term recovery, with this year seeing an all-time high rate of 400 closures per month, all is not lost. The good news is that even in these unpredictable economic times, people are continuing to support their favourite restaurants, so much so that 61 per cent of people are willing to pay more to keep restaurants open if a recession hits.

Along with a willingness to continue to dine out, comes the increased consumer demand for value, as customers turn to more QSRs and cheaper pricing to stretch their dollars. This could be an issue for restaurants upping their menu prices in attempt to battle inflation.

The bottom line is that in order to stay competitive and continue to bring guests in, restaurants will need to provide really clear value to the customer. Many diners still want to eat restaurant food, even as they watch their dollars and cents, but they will need to see value to justify consistent discretionary spending going forward.

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