People Are Going Out To Restaurants More Like They Used To Before The Recession

Times, they are a-changing, and that’s a good thing when it comes to the restaurant business lately: More people are going out to eat recently, in numbers that haven’t been seen since before the recession hit in 2008.

Global research firm NPD group released new figures on restaurant visits between June 1, 2014 through May 31, showing that folks made 61.1 billion visits to U.S. restaurants, reports the Chicago Tribune.

That number is a promising sign that the economy is continuing to recover from the recession, food industry experts say. The more people are working and making money, the more likely they are to go out and eat away from home.
We’re also spending more money when we go out, with a year-over-year increase of 2.4%. That’s the biggest bump restaurants have gotten in five years.

Fast-casual chains alone, with restaurants like Chipotle and Panera Bread, have grown by 8%, the biggest boost in the quick-service industry, which accounts for about 80% of U.S. dining. In comparison, fine-dining restaurants only make up about 1% of dining in the U.S.

“It’s taken awhile to get there,” an NPD spokeswoman said of surpassing pre-recession numbers.

Restaurant visits surpass pre-recession numbers [Chicago Tribune]

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