Eating out still cheaper than home-cooking– expert
Dining-in at restaurants is back to pre-pandemic levels globally.
The quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry has witnessed a 30% increase in value growth in 2023 compared to 2019, driven by convenience and lesser cost than cooking at home.
Andi Siswanto, NBD and New Initiative Director at Kantar Indonesia Worldpanel Division, said that the resurgence in dining out can be attributed to several factors, including the pent-up stress and desire for socializing post-pandemic which led to increased mobility and a return to restaurants.
“We do see that in countries in the European regions, for example, the costs of eating out is still relatively better compared to the price increases consumers have to bear when it comes to home cooking. So that helps consumers as an incentive for them to go out,” he said.
He noted that the excitement of consumers being able to socialize again to go out and enjoy themselves out in the sun within the restaurant setting is really helping with the increase of dining-in preferences.
“When we think about inflation, the way it is being applied across different parts of the world does vary,” he said, “We do see that, especially among the developing countries, Indonesia as a key example, there has been increasing investments as well. New changes are coming in the really busy subway.”
When discussing consumer preferences for quick-service restaurants over home cooking, Siswanto identified convenience as a universal driver. He explained that the desire to save time and enjoy meals without the hassle of cooking is a key motivator.
“They want to save time, they want to have fun and enjoy themselves,” he said.
However, there are regional specificities. “In a lot of countries, especially in Latin America and Asia, communal events are also represented by dining out together with families,” he added. The choice of restaurant often depended on factors like kid-friendly spaces, suitability for hangouts, and menus catering to the entire family.
Siswanto also said that while convenience remains a common factor across all age groups, there are distinctions in the choices and timings preferred by each generation. Millennials, for instance, are inclined towards dinner locations, whereas Gen X tends to focus more on afternoon meals and sharing occasions with family.
“Millennials are more often at dinner locations, and Gen X is more skewed toward afternoon and specifically driven toward a sharing occasion when they want to order food for their families for their kids as well at home,” he explained.