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Consumer Spending

As more and more Americans opt to eat out, the restaurant industry share of the food dollar is increasing. In 1955, restaurants captured just 25% of the total household dollars spent on food. By 2005, the restaurant share grew to 47%. This is expected to climb to 53% by 2010.

Average household expenditure for food away from home in 2003 was $2,211 or $884 per person with more affluent households, employed adults living alone and husband/wife only households spending considerably more.

  Households with incomes of $70,000+
Employed persons living alone
Managed Services
Lodging Places
Average of all households
$1,441 per capita
$1,620 per capita
$1,265 per capita
$ 789 per capita
$ 884 per capita

Tourists represent a significant spending segment to restaurants. According to National Restaurant Association research, more than two-thirds of table service restaurant operators reported that tourists are important to their business. Among establishments with higher check sizes, approximately 40 percent of revenues at table service restaurants with check sizes of $25 or more come from tourists. Tourists account for roughly 15-30 percent of revenues at table service restaurants with average check sizes of less than $25.

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