Eating Out Less vs. Eating Out Cheaper

Since the economy turned bad, it has been a familiar mantra among survey respondents that they’re spending less on dining out. But are they doing this by dining out less often or by eating at less-expensive restaurants? A Maritz Poll released this month (and conducted in December) indicates relatively few are trading down. Just 5 percent agreed “strongly” (plus 15 percent “somewhat”) with the statement, “You are planning to downgrade the class of restaurants at which you dine out.” Ten percent agreed strongly and 24 percent somewhat that they’re cutting back “on the number of times you dine out.” The same survey found 41 percent agreeing (including 14 percent strongly) that they “plan to cut back on personal entertainment such as movies, theater, sporting events.”