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Americans spending more at restaurants versus grocery stores: Report

Yahoo Finance’s Brooke DiPalma joins the Live show to discuss survey findings from a report conducted by Mastercard.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

- US consumers are spending more to dine out than they are on groceries in this post-pandemic era. Let's dive into the state of the US consumer and what fast food giant execs are saying. Yahoo Finance's Brooke DiPalma. So Brooke, what are you hearing?

BROOKE DIPALMA: Well, good morning, Rochelle. This report comes as inflation of food at home outpaces inflation of food away from home. Now consumers are questioning, if I dine out, will I actually save money? And in the latest data from the US Census Bureau, it turns out that Americans are seeing if that's true and spending more at restaurants. In the month of January, Americans spent $86.6 billion dining out here in the US. That's up 24% compared to 2022.

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Now, if you take a look at how that compares to spending on groceries, beer, wine, and liquor stores, that category was only up 5.3%. It's a little more than 78.9. Now, as you see right here, according to Mastercard's SpendingPulse survey, the spending of restaurants remaining a top priority for consumers. So ultimately, the eagerness for Americans to dine out showed strength here, up 24.2%. They say that eating out is a top priority for them, especially after two years locked up in COVID.

Now, we heard from multiple executives that here in the US, spending among US consumers remains strong. Particularly, Starbucks CFO Rachel Ruggeri telling us, quote, "we understand that our consumers are dealing with a lot of uncertainty and economic challenges, but we aren't seeing an issue with our demand today." Now, it's important to note that here in the US, the Seattle-based coffee giant saw same-store sales jump 10% with eight of its highest sales days in the company's history. And then from that, it really does believe that throughout this year, they'll continue to see strength. They reaffirmed their full-year guidance of 7% to 9% of US same-store sales.

But Rochelle, a key point here is that restaurants are actually getting a boost from COVID-19 era trends as well. Brinker International CEO-- that's the company behind Chili's and Maggiano's, that Italian restaurant chain-- well, they told Yahoo Finance that the everyday off-premise guest is eating at home. They're coming more often. So we're seeing frequency, and we're seeing growth. Off-premise sales there up 82% than they were pre-pandemic. So that includes delivery, digital, drive-thru. Customers are ultimately going out and eating out, seeing if they're saving money, but ultimately, keeping to those trends that they had during the pandemic now in 2023.