Where do you eat out the most?
By Chuck Bentley
The Huffington Post recently reported that 8 out of 10 Americans eat fast food at least once a month. That comes as no surprise, but their preferred choice did surprise me.
A recent study by Morgan Stanley asked the top 3 factors that people look for when choosing a restaurant. The results were: 1) Great-tasting food, 2) Good value for the money, and 3) High-quality food.
When ranking restaurants most visited in the past three months, the winner was McDonalds with 60 percent of all the respondents having eaten there. This was the top choice across the board for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials.
Why is this important? Fast food has become a way of life in our culture. It is convenient to pop in and grab a quick meal, but it is hard on your budget if it is a frequent habit.
My wife and I once led a group of teenage boys through a Crown study to teach them how to handle money. During the course, we asked them to bring $5 to go out to eat. But there was one catch before they chose their restaurant. We challenged them to spend less than $5 and whatever they had left over, we would use for a party at the end of the course. Well, they went to a low-end pizza buffet and skipped ordering a sweet drink. They spent about $4.25 each, so we had around $9 to spend on the party. Ann bought ingredients and made lots of baked treats. The twelve boys spent $51 total on pizza but could not believe how much food they got for just $9. Eating at home is far less expensive and better for you than eating out. Plus, choose carefully where you eat out—you can find coupons and specials that will save you lots of money in your budget if you do a little planning.
Originally posted 4/6/2015.