Consumer Spending For On-Site Dining Down 10%


People want to eat out more, but inflation is keeping more of them in the kitchen at home.

A recently released study by Popmenu shows than despite 64% of respondents saying that they would “dine at or order from restaurants every day if they could manage it,” they now only spend 30% of their monthly food budget on restaurants, down from 40% in 2022.

The study also found that (38%) say they are spending the same or even more on restaurant meals compared to last year, but are now tipping less. And while eating and drinking establishments generated $93.7 billion on in March 2024, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau, that’s still lagging behind November 2024’s $94.2 billion.



"Although restaurant industry sales remain healthy, competition for guests has intensified over the last several months," said Brendan Sweeney, CEO and co-founder of Popmenu, in a release. "Consumers are doing their homework: 80% research restaurant menus online as they assess dishes, cost, convenience, and other drivers of dining decisions. Restaurants who are winning and growing are 1) offering more budget-friendly menu options or discounts and 2) actively engaging consumers across digital channels to entice them to order online or in person."

The overall survey findings point to consumers placing a high priority on saving money. 52% of consumers say they prioritize restaurants that offer bigger portions, planning for the leftovers they’ll have as their next meal.

And reaffirming previous data, 66% of customers choose a restaurant based on affordable menu items, coupons or special offers, with about the same number (67%) saying they prefer to order directly from a restaurant over using a food delivery app such as Grubhub or Uber Eats to save money on fees.  And 45% of those that do eat out frequent restaurants that offer a loyalty program to save money.

The Popmenu survey polled 1,000 U.S. consumers nationwide, ages 18 and older, from April 16 to April 17.


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