Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Restaurant Pain

The following chart shows roughly how much of our food dollars are spent in restaurants.

Click to enlarge.

I'm not at all convinced that the overall upward long-term trend is sustainable. In the distant future will we really be so prosperous that 100% our food dollars will be spent in restaurants?

I can't speak for others, but when I retired I actually ate out a lot less. That was especially true once the economy started falling apart. Call me crazy.

Note that there was a glimmer of hope that we were moving up and away from the most recent trend line in red. However, that's not been the case since April. I might even be so bold as to suggest that it has a certain return to the trend line look about it.

Source Data:
U.S. Census: Monthly Retail Sales


Watchtower said...

Not only does a bad economy keep my family and I from eating out as often, but this doesn't help either:

Cost cutting!

Rob Dawg said...

We have mixed schedules so sometimes eating out is eating together. A splurge is Souplantation. Two nights ago I made stuffed chicken breasts. $1.99/lb for the chicken, $2 ricotta, $1 each broccoli and mushrooms. Maybe another $3 in salad, milk, salad dressing, etc. Call it $2.50 per person. easily $12/plate in any restaurant. Restaurants were selling convenience. People have a lot more time on their hands. People are doubling up freeing even more time prorata. I can see an actual downturn as restaurants encounter lack of input price authority and selling price resistance.

Stagflationary Mark said...


From your link...

The owner of the restaurant claims that the deer was going to be fed to the restaurant and not customers.

See? Nothing to worry about! ;)

Forehead. Desk. Whack. Whack. Whack.

I'm reminded of the time I needed to use the bathroom in a restaurant in our International District. I loved their storage idea and wondered why others hand't thought of it. There was indeed plenty of space for unopened cardboard boxes near the mens' urinals!

Stagflationary Mark said...

Rob Dawg,

Restaurants want a piece of food stamp pie

Louisville-based Yum! Brands, whose restaurants include Taco Bell, KFC, Long John Silver's and Pizza Hut, is trying to get restaurants more involved, federal lobbying records show.

If you lose your job at KFC then you might qualify for food stamps. This would allow you to have your former coworkers prepare your meals for you.

Is it just me or is that all messed up?

dearieme said...

"when I retired I actually ate out a lot less"

Will General Petraeus, I wonder?

Stagflationary Mark said...


Ba-dum ching!

Shame on you for going there, lol.

Luke Smith said...

What do we owe the trend to: lunch or dinner? The way I see it, eating out at lunch is a worker's way of escaping work, while eating out at dinner is a couple/family's way of escaping the house. So what happense when you have no job and the bank just foreclosed on your house?

Stagflationary Mark said...

Luke Smith,

The way I see it, eating out at lunch is a worker's way of escaping work...

I think that's true to a large degree. There was a time when I truly loved my job. I tended to bring my food to work then.

So what happense when you have no job and the bank just foreclosed on your house?

Eating out becomes an escape from reality? Works until it doesn't? Sigh.