restaurant dining

People spend 40% of food budget on restaurant dining, suggests survey

While general inflation and the prices of gas and food are presenting challenging situations for consumers, a new survey suggests that restaurant dining remains a large part of people’s life.

A recent Popmenu survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers found that those consumers spend about 40 per cent of their individual or family food budgets on restaurants.

The survey found that when ordering from restaurants through online avenues, which have become significantly more popular since the onset of the pandemic, 33 per cent of diners spend US$50 or more on average.

However, as the world continues to move forward from the pain of the pandemic, more consumers are transitioning from delivery or takeout only to on-premise dining. Nearly half (45 per cent) of consumers now eat in restaurants at least twice a week, according to the survey.

“While consumers are keeping a closer eye on economic trends and their overall spending, restaurant dining continues to account for a significant portion of their food budgets each month,” said Brendan Sweeney, CEO and co-founder of Popmenu.

Consumers are also willing to cut out other discretionary spending in order to still be able to afford to dine at restaurants.

Survey respondents indicated they would be more likely to cut spending on clothes, travel, gym memberships, rideshare services, streaming services, and other entertainment than they would on restaurant spending.

When it comes to consumers’ motivations for still dining at restaurants despite financial pressures, Popmenu found that 29 per cent of consumers believe it is cheaper to order from restaurants than it is to buy all the items needed to cook a meal, while another 27 per cent said it costs roughly the same.

In addition, 47 per cent like going to restaurants to see family and friends, and other reasons include making new friends, watching sports, or celebrating successes like new jobs.

“Where they ultimately choose to spend their dollars is, in part, influenced by how much the restaurant is keeping consumers engaged through digital outreach and how frictionless the overall experience is both online and on-premise,” added Sweeney. “Quality, convenience and value are top of mind.”