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NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Changes in Eating Out”


Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks at changes in eating out.  Mike, the average person now spends as much eating out as they do on eating meals they prepare at home.  However, I understand there are some big changes occurring in the eating-out, or restaurant, market.  What are they?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Consumers are changing the mix of price and quality they want in eating out
  2. During the recession when incomes were declining, price was the main focus- so fast food restaurants with limited choices and few amenities were top choices
  3. Now with the economy revived (but not for everyone), consumers eating out are looking more at quality and amenities rather than just price
  4. See this particularly with the millennial (20s and 30s) generation – they like variety, quality, healthy – and are willing to pay more
  5. So we may be seeing a shakeup in the eating-out industry
  6. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service