The steady increase of working women has been a boon to restaurants for five
decades, but that growth has been leveling off since 1999, according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics. The result is less money in the family budget, more
time for women to cook, and less trips to restaurants.
number of restaurant visits that Americans make annually has flattened out, and
consumers have increased the number of meals they make at home. Last year, 207
restaurant meals were purchased per person, down from a peak of 211 in 2001,
according to NPD Group. Meanwhile, Americans prepared 861 meals at home in 2007,
compared with 817 in 2002, NPD says.
Another small but striking shift is
that men are whipping up more suppers. They prepared 18% of at-home dinners in
2007, compared with 14% in 2003, according to NPD. The growing popularity of
fancy home grills may be linked to that increase.
Restaurants Feel the Bite Of Stay-at-Home Moms – WSJ.com
Restaurants, which have been slumping for two years because of a slew of short-term factors, are waking up to a worrisome long-term trend: The number of harried working moms isn’t growing the way it was.
For decades, the steady increase of working women was a boon to restaurants. The combination of women having less time to cook and households having a second income led families to eat at restaurants more frequently. From 1948 to 1999, the percentage of women in the work force climbed from 32.7% to 60%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.