New survey shows consumers plan to eat out less

by Keith Nunes
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NEW YORK — Fifty-four per cent of Americans said they will eat out less over the next three months, according to a survey of 1,000 people released in conjunction with the RBC Capital Markets Annual Consumer Conference, held Sept. 18 to 20.

"Volatile stock markets, declining home values, higher energy costs and overall concern about the economy are reducing Americans’ appetite for dining out," said Larry Miller, RBC Capital Markets equity analyst.

According to the study, 35% of those surveyed with higher household incomes ($50,000 or more annually) said they would eat out less, and 62% making less than $25,000 annually said they would eat out less. The study showed that consumers already have altered their purchasing habits, with two in five acknowledging they are dining out less frequently today than six months ago.

Consumers that cut back tended to fall into one or more of the following demographics: females, Generation Y, baby boomers, household incomes under $50,000, unemployed, and those living in the northeast and southern regions of the U.S.

The 11% of consumers who said they increased their dining out frequency were predominantly male, age 18 to 29, single, and preferred fast food.

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