“When I was a kid (I am now 62), restaurants were somewhat of a luxury. We did eat out, but it was for a special occasion. I suspect that restaurant dining will go back in that direction, but not entirely. Similar to German cars. BMWs and Mercedes were available in the 1970s, but dealers only stocked a few and they were way more expensive than American cars. The current state of the world (pandemic, war, inflation) will make restaurants and German cars less “everyday”. The good news is that our lives have improved in other ways to make up for this. But overall, inflation reduces our standard of living in the short to intermediate term.”
When I was a kid - (now 75) - the family SELDOM ate out. Restaurant? Forget it. The only time we ‘ate out’ was on vacation travel - before we got to camping location - and maybe HoJos for a meal or two in a two week trip. Otherwise, mom and dad would cook every dinner over the camp stove, lunch was a sandwich, breakfast cold cereal. My sister got a special treat for her 16th birthday - her present - a meal in a local ‘french’ restaurant. There weren’t a whole lot of restaurants around either.
In college, I was on the dining plan, and no Sat nite dinner - so we ordered a large pizza and split it 2 or 3 or 4 ways for dinner - delivery in a college down. Later years might head downtown and eat at an Italian restaurant that catered to college kids - and we split a pizza there…cheap.
Up until I moved to TX…I rarely ate out…except on travel trips - or business trips paid for by company.
Then when I moved to TX in 1990 - lots of inexpensive places to eat. Boston Market dinner - some local hole in the wall places. Ate out more.
Now, that I’m retired - eat out five dinners a week. Sometimes breakfast. I can ‘afford it’.
Places reasonable. Chinese buffet - (with sushi bar, Mongolian grill, 50 items from fish, chicken, pork, veggies, etc) - for $10.81 plus a tip if you want ‘early bird’ until 5:30pm M-TH. Otherwise about $12.50.
Local ‘steak house’ - six oz steak and 8 grilled shrimp. 3 sides ( maybe salad, broccoli, sweet potato) - $19.95 plus tax/tip. Out the door for $26 or so.
Lasagna at Joe’s? with salad - $13.50 out the door.
Delicious Monterrey Chicken at Norma’s? With salad and two veggies - $13 plus tax/tip.
Now you add in a beer or two - and that adds $10 to your meal. I don’t need booze with meals.
Big difference. My parents ate out near zero times a year. When they retired, I guess they did a weekly ‘early bird’ special in FL and that was about it…
Sat night was ‘outdoor cookouts’ - hot dogs, hamburgers all through my younger years as a kid.
Yeah did lots of ‘tent camping’ as a kid. No RVs or trailers like today.
And if you want cheap - head to Cici’s Pizza. All you can eat pizza and small salad bar for $6. More if you want a ‘softdrink’. I drink water.