Probably not as much as you used to. Even if you can afford to, the fear of what the future may bring has the consumer hesitant to go out to eat.
At ZeroHedge they find that “The percentage of disposable income spent on eating-out has plunged dramatically in the last two months after running up in a well-correlated manner with stocks – from the 2009 lows. It would seem that once again, equity hopefulness-divergence is writ large here and yet consumers are not buying the hype/hope.”
It’s indicators like this that can tell you a lot about how an election will go. People begin to feel constrained and not confident. Add to this the drought across much of the country and the blame ends up on the incumbent’s desk.
People have a lot of interesting comments. Albeit it’s all anecdotal, still, everything comes down to your own experience.
Here’s a smorgasbord of comments:
“Indeed…publicly traded restaurant stocks are now well off of what is clearly a giant cyclical top. I wouldn’t own any of them, and I would short rallies in them. As to what that means in a macro economic sense…well, that is simply common sense. It is the first of many more instances to come of discretionary spending tumbling to the downside.”
“You know what I find funny? McDonalds advertising campaign about their products being less than 400 calories. The reason a Filet ‘O Fish is less than 400 calories is because all of McDonalds product sizes have shrunk significantly over the past couple of years. As if no one would notice. A Big Mac is tiny now.”
“Jersey shore not doing good either: Things are bad,” says Pat Tirotta. “Normally at this time, I’ll have 30 people in here. Look at it now. Business has been terrible. I can’t move my stuff, and I make first-rate stuff.”
“With fewer and fewer people capable of cooking for themselves, you bet it is another sign that the economy is tanking.”
“Ancedotal it is, but we ate out last night at our favorite Thai restaurant which usually has a large crowd and only three other tables were occupied. I made the comment to wife..”What’s up with this this place is usually packed?”
My family used to go out to eat every other weekend on pay days. We no longer do it. That’s just one example, but we are definitely part of the above data.”
“People are eating out more than ever…They’re behind the restaurant… in the dumpster.”