Today’s guest post is by Greg Schmalz, president, Schmalz Communications.
The calendar may very well indicate it’s spring, but the weather has been far from spring-like. Sure, there’s been an occasional nice day with sun and some warm temps, but overall, the northeast has been cold and I have lost count of how many snowstorms we’ve endured.
Combine bad weather (who wants to brave a snowstorm unless they have to?) with a volatile economy and restaurant owners, among other retailers, have felt the pinch. Unfortunately, a high number struggle to survive and too many mom and pop restaurants and diners have closed their doors for good.
Meals at restaurants sometimes cost three times as much as the same meal prepared at home, consumers have been tightening their belts and cutting expenses wherever possible to make ends meet.
According to an industry analyst from market research firm NPD, there could be light – make that daylight – at the end of winter’s long dark tunnel. Data shows that more than 77 percent meals were prepared at home when the recession begin back in 2008. That number rose to nearly 80% last November.
However, consumers say they will dine out less frequently next year. Why? Not because of finances. Because of concerns about health. The most recent survey found that 60 percent of consumers said they want to eat more healthfully in the next year, rising from 50 percent of respondents in the first quarter.
So while the weather may clear up, another storm is brewing for the already beleaguered restaurant industry.
But what about you… have your dining habits changed over this winter? Are you considering more healthy choices when dining out in the future?