A head of lettuce can cost an average of $1.50 or 1.30€ in some of the most quality marketed grocery stores, yet at a restaurant a simple salad can cost up to 10 times more. Yes, protein, seeds and dressing are added but realistically most of the dish is simply lettuce.
Eating at restaurants is definitely expensive and if the place is actually affordable or even cheap, the food might not be of a very good quality. It is not rare to feel sluggish, tired or with a bad gut feeling after a trip to a less than impressive food place.
Despite all these factors we still keep eating out and every day there are new food chains opening up across the world. The restaurant business is thriving because honestly food is a necessity and time is scarce in today’s society.
There are some reasons why we prefer to spend our money on food prepared and served outside of our homes when perhaps we know that home cooked food tastes better and may be cheaper.
1. Restaurants Touch On People’s Sweet Spot
People may not necessarily dine out in order to eat dessert but when they have it, they may possibly end naming the dessert the star of the outing.
The new trend amongst the industry is to recreate our childhood sweets into adult desserts. For instance, a restaurant in Austin called Swift’s Attic offers a dessert called “Popcorn & a Movie”, which is made of butter popcorn gelato, house made candy bar, caramel corn and root beer gel. Never has a kernel of popcorn been treated to such a delicacy.
Most impressive, Beer Belly restaurant in LA is offering all our childhood desserts in deep fried form. These included Pop-Tarts, Snickerdoodle, Oreos and Twinkie amongst others.
Restaurants are re-interpreting childhood desserts to make them appeal to people’s grown up self. They are definitely touching on people’s sweet spot “quite” literally.
2. Restaurants Can Go Without Menus
Some people hate to cook, others don’t have the time and few others are picky with the food they eat. That is why restaurants keep thriving and why perhaps buffet and self-service options make people instantly hungrier.
In the past year, it has been reported that self-service cafeterias have lost some popularity and that food outlets have decreased by about 3%.
Variety, choice and flexibility are what categorize these outlets in addition to quantity and utmost power to create your own plate. This is what restaurants are doing now. They are becoming the improved version of self-service restaurants. People now don’t have to stand up.
It is now common to have a food item removed from the dish or added into a dish before it is even cooked. Also, a completely new dish not featured on the menu will be made to satisfy a customer. At buffets people made up their plate and now at restaurants they can do the same.
These choices don’t always come from food sensitivities or allergies but from personal choices. Restaurants want to please the consumer and thus it has encouraged the latter to become an amateur chef.
3. Restaurants Save People From Doing The Dirty Work
There are many people who don’t like to cook but surely even more people don’t like to clean up after.
Cooking can be an enjoyable process and the studies are showing that it can be beneficial to help with society’s stress levels. To help with relaxation and mood it is argued that repetitive acts such as chopping vegetables or stirring the pot would be recommended. That is always when there are no time constraints and when the dishes familiar, if not it can work the opposite way.
However, what people look forward the least is the cleaning after. It is simply a waste of time in today’s era.
Fast food chains thrive on this concept because most of the food is served in disposable paper or plastic containers. Perhaps their business plan was to allow for their customers to take the food with them and not have them return the container. However, in truth what they did is avoid the clean up process. The result is a level of waste and more efforts for conscious consumption.
Some people don’t like to clean after and it looks like food outlets may not want either. Nonetheless, there are options and there is no excuse when meals can be cooked in crockpots or when even “eating out of the pan” is becoming the new trend.
4. Restaurants Know Where We Buy Food
Everyone loves free samples and if they happen to be food samples it is likely that they will run out even faster. Supermarkets and grocery stores are becoming places where people can eat their meals asides from buying their food.
Whole Foods is an example of a well known grocery store that may perhaps be better known for the times its customers have posted on social media their supersized salads that were worth a whole entire meal.
However, restaurants are taking the opposite route. They are now selling the food they serve and some even more stuff. For instance, the well-known restaurant chain Another Broken Egg has more than 8,000 Facebook followers, more than 5,000 Instagram followers and almost 4,500 Twitter followers. They have achieved such a popular status that they can now sell their famous pepper sauce and even merchandise in the form of unique mugs.
Restaurants are entering the retailing world. California Pizza Kitchen sells its acclaimed pizzas at supermarkets refrigerated and people can find at Walmart or Target a variety of small dishes such as mozzarella sticks or cheddar and bacon potato strips served at T.G.I Friday’s restaurants.
When people buy these products they may eat them at home but they are still eating their favourite meals from their favourite restaurants AND they don’t have to clean that much after.
There are a wide number of reasons why people prefer to eat out. The most common ones may be meeting out with a number of good friends, having a delicious and exotic dish at new trendy restaurant, getting something quick to eat or just eating good food. However, restaurants know how to kick up their game.
Even though cooking at home can be therapeutic and healthier, restaurants are bringing up their fight. They are serving our childhood memories in a dish, they allow people to personalize their food and can even take the retail industry by storm.
Home cooking 0, Restaurants 1!