Do You Think It Costs More To Eat At Restaurants Or Cook At Home?

Proprietary Data Insights

Top Stock Searches This Month



Do You Think It Costs More To Eat At Restaurants Or Cook At Home?

Happy long weekend. With any luck you’re taking Friday off and turning it into a super long, four-day weekend. Any way you slice it, there’s a decent chance you’ll be traveling between today and early next week. 

If so – or even if not – do you plan on eating at a restaurant over Memorial Day weekend? Turns out that eating out has become the exception rather than the rule for quite a few Americans. 

According to a Vericast survey of 1,954 consumers across generations and socioeconomic statuses, 45% plan to spend less money dining out in 2023. Nearly two-thirds think “rising prices are making restaurant dining too expensive.” A full 70% of baby boomers feel this way. Among all respondents, 61% claim these high prices have made them less brand loyal. 

In fact, coupons and discounts appear to be a major driver of dining out behavior: 

  • 51% will spend more at a fast food restaurant when there’s a coupon or discount involved. 
  • 53% say coupons or discounts prompt them to try a new place. 
  • One-third of the people surveyed say deals make them more loyal. 

Taking it to the next level of extreme, 47% of frequent fast casual visitors, 39% of millennials with kids, 33% of all millennials and 32% of Generation Z will not eat at or order from a restaurant without a coupon or discount.

Money talks and you know what walks. 

Back to the idea of spending more on fast food with a coupon or discount. Among these groups, large numbers say they’ll spend more at fast food restaurants if they’re getting a deal. 

Sixty-nine percent of millennials with children feel this way, followed by 68% of Gen Z, 62% of frequent quick service diners and 51% across all survey participants. 

So let’s sort out what we know so far: 

  • Lots of people think it’s too expensive to eat out so they’re not doing it as much. 
  • However, they love coupons and discounts, especially at fast food establishments. 

You might think this would lead people to eat more at home and like it. Maybe you can save money and be healthier by cooking for yourself and your family in your own kitchen. 

Incredibly, 41% of people in the survey think that “with rising grocery store prices, it’s not necessarily cheaper to eat at home.” The Juice thinks these people must be the ones throwing steak and lobster on the barbeque this weekend! 

Here’s what the actual data says in the latest inflation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • Year over year the cost of food away from home increased by 8.6%. Between March and April, it increased by 0.4%. 
  • Year over year the cost of food at home increased by 7.1%, but decreased 0.2% month to month. 

Of course, it all depends on what you put on your plate. You can see the full detailed list here, but there’s considerable year-over-year divergence depending on what you buy: 

  • Eggs have increased in price by 21.4% over the last year. 
  • But milk is only up 1.6% and fresh fruits and vegetables have actually come down in cost by an admittedly meager 0.4%, led by a 5.4% decrease in citrus fruits.  

The Bottom Line: Like pretty much everything in our economy these days, it’s situational. With housing, it depends on where you live or where you’re looking to live and if you want to rent or buy. With food, location certainly matters, but a lot has to do with what you’re putting on your plate and whether you’re doing it at home or on the outside. 

On the ground in Los Angeles and via our colleagues in New York, San Francisco and other big cities across the country, The Juice can tell you that, despite all the economic and urban pain we keep hearing about, bars and restaurants are busy. Commercial corridors are even bustling with the glaring exception of most big downtowns. 

This leaves us wondering: Will this haves and have nots economy ever end? Or, coming out of COVID, is it the actual new normal? 


News & Insights

Freshly Squeezed

Want to get content like this directly to your inbox? Then we urge you to sign up for our newsletter here

Related posts

Advisors in Focus- January 6, 2021

Gavin Maguire

Advisors in Focus- February 15, 2021

Gavin Maguire

Advisors in Focus- February 22, 2021

Gavin Maguire

Advisors in Focus- February 28, 2021

Gavin Maguire

Advisors in Focus- March 18, 2021

Gavin Maguire

Advisors in Focus- March 21, 2021

Gavin Maguire