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Home>Daily Capital>Investing & Markets>The Rising Cost of Food Has Americans Cutting Back on Eating Out: Here’s How Appetites Are Shifting

The Rising Cost of Food Has Americans Cutting Back on Eating Out: Here’s How Appetites Are Shifting

Key Takeaways

  • More than 94% of Americans said they cut back on food deliveries in the past year.*
  • 47% of people are less likely to dine at a restaurant at least once a week after cutting back on food splurges.
  • 57% of Gen Zers say skyrocketing delivery charges are the reason they’re cutting back.
  • Despite rising prices and inflation rates, more than 31% of Americans aren’t willing to cut back on their choice foodie experience.        

Americans crave convenience, and it’s no secret that the pandemic accelerated the growth of third-party delivery services like DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub — satisfying those with a taste for enjoying their favorite foods from the comfort of their couch.  But as consumers navigate rising inflation rates and a looming recession, many are trying to tighten their wallets — and taking a bite out of their food discretionary spending.

To get a sense of who’s cutting back on delivery and dining out, we surveyed over 1,000 Americans about their food spending habits.

Food for Thought

To get a better sense of how Americans’ appetites are changing, we asked respondents who frequently ordered delivery about the services they’ve cut back on.

Food delivery services aren’t immune to economic inflation, and analysts even predicted in early 2022 that they’d take a hit. While nearly all Americans cut back on at least one form of food-related discretionary spending, almost a quarter have done so by dining out less frequently. The largest drop in weekly spending was also seen among those eating in-person at restaurants: 52% dined out at least once per week before decreasing spending, and only 28% continued the habit post cutbacks.

So now that people have cut back on food discretionary spending, how much are they saving? Those who dined out less often experienced the highest average monthly savings ($37.60),  giving them the potential to save over $450 a year. Decreasing DoorDash deliveries also made a difference, accounting for an average monthly savings of almost $30. According to respondents, less DoorDashing could equal a savings of more than $300 a year.

Overall, Americans surveyed reported saving an estimated $277.37 annually after cutting back.

Some Culinary Connoisseurs Are Cutting Back

When it comes to cutting back on spending for foodies, everyone has their reasons. In the next part of our study, we looked at people’s different motivations for spending less.

 

According to our survey, Americans are cutting back on food deliveries in order to stash cash for a future dream (51%), while 47% cited reduced disposable income and increased delivery and service charges. That’s understandable, given that fees from services have increased significantly since pre-pandemic times.

Foodie Fanatics: Some Won’t Tame Their Taste Buds, No Matter What 

Some foodies aren’t planning on cutting back on satisfying their cravings for food deliveries or dining out: 31% of respondents said they weren’t willing to reduce spending on even one foodie experience. For some, it’s the enjoyment of dining out at a restaurant with friends, while for others, it’s the convenience of takeout. And when we asked people about their most important lifestyle splurges, dining reigned supreme among 79% of respondents. Enjoying guilty pleasures (like fine dining) without breaking the bank is possible when cut backs are made in other areas.

Pushing the (Spending) Limit

Americans are trying to cut down on spending to keep a tighter budget, and food looks to be an area many are focusing on. Delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash are first on many lists for reducing expenses. However, people aren’t willing to skimp on enjoying food deliveries altogether; dining out was still a high priority that few were ready to give up. With delivery fees and the cost of food going up, restaurant dining, delivery, and takeout will probably remain lower than usual until people’s budgets have more wiggle room.

 

* Methodology

We surveyed 1,071 Americans who ordered food at a restaurant, for takeout or delivery within the last year. About 18% were baby boomers, 29% were Generation X, 30% were millennials, and 20% were Generation Z.

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Fair Use Statement

If you’re a foodie and enjoyed our study, you’re more than welcome to share it. We just ask that you link back to the findings and that your purposes are noncommercial.

 

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. No part of this blog, nor the links contained therein is a solicitation or offer to sell securities. Third party data is obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, Personal Capital Corporation (“PCC”) cannot guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or fitness of this data for any particular purpose. Third party links are provided solely as a convenience and do not imply an affiliation, endorsement or approval by Personal Capital of the contents on such third party websites. The value of your investment will fluctuate and you may lose money.  Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.

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