Restaurants Beating Groceries In Sales: What’s Driving The Trend?

In 2015, restaurant sales in America surpassed grocery store sales for the first time in modern history. This trend has continued over the recent years, and in January of this year $56 billion was spent on grocery sales, while consumers spent $61 billion in restaurants in that same time period. The likely culprit? More than a quarter of Americans still don’t know how to cook. There are other reasons for the uptick in ordering and dining out, as well. Many Americans are working longer hours and the thought of both cooking and cleaning up afterward make letting someone else do the work sound a lot more appealing.


But maybe it’s not quite that simple, after all. Many Americans are going vegan, which can mean significant savings at the grocery store. One writer from CNBC went vegan for a month and discovered he’d saved over $100 on food that month, all while losing 10 pounds. Another CNBC writer discovered Millennials are spending more on dining out than they are saving for retirement — 49% do so — and an even more staggering figure shows that 27% of Millennials are spending more on coffee than they are on retirement savings. 


Another factor that has driven up restaurant spending is the economy. A MarketWatch report shows that restaurant spending rose 2.6% in 2018, while spending on groceries rose just half of a percent. But it may not be so easy to say that people are eating out more and buying fewer groceries. According to the report, the cost of many grocery items has fallen, which could account for the lack of growth in spending in that area.


In short, there may be a wide variety of factors driving the uptick in restaurant spending. Clearly the 25% of Americans who don’t know how to cook aren’t driving this trend by themselves. Cooking and cleaning take a lot of time, and that’s not even counting the time spent planning meals and grocery shopping, though apps and delivery services can even help with that these days. Learn more about the gadgets and tech that can make cooking easier from the infographic below.