Budget Busting: More Americans Dining At Home, Switching To QSRs


Americans have been experiencing extraordinarily high grocery prices for the last several years, with little indication of relief anytime soon. And restaurant prices have followed suit. In response to the inflation, the recently published 2024 Restaurant TrendWatch from Vericast shows more consumers are saying “we have food at home” and forgoing what they see as more expensive restaurant meals.

Research showed that restaurant prices are actually climbing at a higher rate than groceries prices: 5.1% annually vs. 1.2%. Sixty-eight percent of respondents are currently switching from restaurants to shopping at the grocery store to avoid the rising costs, with more than 71% of Gen Z and millennials doing the same.

"The steadily increasing cost of dining out is testing the limits of what consumers can and will spend," said Dana Baggett, executive director, Restaurant Division at Vericast. "There's a noticeable decrease in consumers dining out, especially with consumers that have a household income under $75,000. Many diners are choosing to dine out less, trade down to less expensive restaurants, order less or opt to eat out (at) more affordable mealtimes like breakfast or snacks.”



Yet there are a few  bright spots in the report, especially for QSRs, with survey respondents still choosing these brands as their preferred place to eat their burgers and tacos.

With more than 50 billion hamburgers consumed yearly in the U.S.,Vericast found that “60% of those surveyed will 'trade down' from a casual dining restaurant to fast food for less expensive burger prices.” Results were similar with tacos; 55% opted to get fast food tacos instead of dining at a fast casual restaurant.

Pizza was not quite so lucky; 55% of respondents reported to switching to frozen pizza instead of ordering pizza delivery or take out.

Couponing may be the answer for some restaurants; the report cited that 30% of respondents said they would not try a restaurant without a coupon or discount offer.


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