Dining Out Beats Dining In

die out dine inThat squeak you just heard is the dollar amount that we spend in restaurants annually squeaking past the dollars we spend on groceries. That’s right, Bloomberg reports that, for the first time, Americans spend more on dining out than cooking at home, something like $51 billion vs. $50 billion. Twenty years ago, it was 2-to-1, or $30B vs. $15B, home vs. restaurant.

Who is driving the change? One hint: it rhymes with Shmillennials. And the Why of it may sound familiar, as well. Millennials have a talent for turning everything into a social experience, and eating dinner is just one example. Social, as in gathering with friends, and Experience, as in having an admirable desire to try new things.

Meanwhile, the Baby Boomers are going in the opposite direction. 50-to-70 year olds report that, while spending is also up, it is more concentrated on Needs than Wants, necessities over frivolities or luxuries. Why? Because they watched their 401K’s get murdered in the last crisis, and they’re spooked.

How about you? Are you a Boomer, Gen X’er or Millennial? Have your spending habits changed regarding dining out vs. dining in? Why or why not? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!