Why 40% Of Monthly U.S. Food Budgets Are Spent On Restaurants: Report

Zinger Key Points
  • Nearly one in six restaurants closed, either permanently or long-term, in the pandemic's first six months.
  • 45% of consumers eat in restaurant dining rooms at least twice a week.

The record-high inflation level has yet to take a bite out of Americans’ dining out habits, as a new survey from Popmenu found that 40% of individual or family food budgets in the U.S. is spent on restaurants each month.

What Happened: The survey, which polled 1,002 consumers, 45% of consumers eat in restaurant dining rooms at least twice a week. The primary reasons for dining out involve social gatherings — 47% of respondents said they were being reunited with family and friends — and self-congratulatory accolades — 20% ate out to celebrate a new job and 18% savored signing a new business deal.

"Restaurants play an important role in everyday life, from making meals to making memories," said Brendan Sweeney, CEO and co-founder of Popmenu, who added, "Quality, convenience and value are top of mind."

And as for those who prefer having restaurants at home or the office, a significant number of deep-pocketed gourmands are placing orders: one-third (33%) of consumers who set up their restaurant meals online for takeout or delivery spend $50 or more per order, on average.

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Why It Matters: The restaurant industry suffered mightily when COVID-19 shut down the economy in March 2020. Nearly one in six restaurants across the country either closed permanently or for the long-term during the first six months of the pandemic, according to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), which noted this sector is still facing critical issues.

“Even though the restaurant industry appears to be recovering from a consumer spending perspective, for restaurants, most of which operate on 3%-5% pre-tax profit margins, the challenges continue to mount,” the NRA said in a statement. “Soaring food prices, supply chain constraints, and workforce shortages make it impossible for many restaurants to pay off debt that was accumulated during the pandemic.”

Trading Action: Among the major national chains, as of 10:30 a.m. EDT, shares trading included:

Darden Restaurants Inc. DRI was trading at $118.36; the 52-week range is $110.96 to $164.28.
Denny’s DENN was trading at $8.94; the 52-week range is $8.46 to 17.40.
Restaurant Brands Inc. QSR was trading at $51.61; the 52-week range is $46.68 to $68.53.
YUM! Brands, Inc. YUM was trading at $118.70; the 52-week range is $108.37 to $139.85.

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Photo: Pexels / Pixabay


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Posted In: NewsRestaurantsSmall CapGeneraleating outfood budgetsNational Restaurant AssociationPopmenu
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