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New Study Reveals the Dining Trends of 2017

In 2015, restaurants and bar sales were higher than grocery store sales for the first time ever, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. So far, 2017 is keeping up with this takeout trend, but with a significant increase in technological elements, like apps and digital menus.

RetailMeNot, Inc., a leading digital savings destination connecting consumers with retailers, restaurants, and brands, released the results of a survey titled “Dining Out Goes Digital” on May 9th, 2017.

The survey was conducted to get a sense of consumer dining habits outside of the home in the last four months. From those results, three things were made abundantly clear:

As most of us savvy shoppers know, the internet gives us immediate access to millions of deals on just about anything you could ever want. Naturally, that includes all types of food.

With this influx of online deals right at our fingertips, it makes sense that RetailMeNot discovered that more than 1 in 3 restaurant goers search for deals before dining out.

The site also found that 80% of consumers indicated they are likely to try a new restaurant if offered a promotion.

Now that is true life. Who among us hasn’t ordered Chinese food because we got a coupon in the mail for a free order of Lo Mein? If you say you haven’t, you’re lying.

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What’s more, we’re apparently willing to go out of our way just to reap the benefits of a deal or discount. The study found that 62% of people are willing to travel up to 10 miles to eat at a restaurant offering a promotion.

I can barely get up the stamina to drive 10 miles to work, so that’s pretty damn impressive.

But saving money isn’t the only M.O. of today’s consumer. You may have guessed it already, but convenience is an absolute necessity in 2017, and few things are as convenient as phone apps.

The survey revealed that 53% of consumers have at least one food and dining app on their phone. Of that percentage, 61% of those men have specifically food delivery apps on their phone, compared to only 39% of those women.

To jump back to our initial point, 20% of those apps focused primarily on saving money when ordering food. Sensing a theme here?

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But the most shocking finding for us was this: RetailMeNot found that 72% of consumers would prefer dining in at a restaurant versus using delivery and take-out options.

This only seems to make sense if you consider the desire for discounts; it could be that restaurants are more likely to offer savings to customers who come in to dine, rather than take out.

And as we’ve all learned by now, saving money on food is a trend that won’t quit.

The study found that American food captured the biggest share of desired discounts at 42%, with pizza, Italian food, and Mexican food all tied at 39%.

Interestingly enough, the craving for savings varied from generation to generation. Apparently, millennial diners have a greater desire to save on burgers (44%), while Gen Xers are on the hunt for a good deal on Mexican food (38%).

The other percentage obviously doesn’t care what kind of food they get, just as long as they have a $2 off coupon.

Well, the findings are clear: 2017 is the year of the hungry pennypincher. And we ain’t even mad about it.