Higher Menu Prices Impact Americans’ Desire to Dine Out

Consumers gravitate toward promotions, discounts and loyalty programs to manage costs.

May 10, 2024

Seventy eight percent of Americans agree that higher menu prices have made dining out more challenging over the past year, even as inflation pressures ease, according to the Givex 2024 Restaurant and Dining Trends Survey.

The global customer engagement and business insights platform’s survey of over 1,000 Americans found that consumers are changing the way they dine out and are swayed by deals and value when it comes to purchasing food.

"The ongoing economic challenges have understandably altered the way people approach dining out," said Givex Chief Commercial Officer Mo Chaar. "Our survey indicates that while price sensitivity has increased, so has the appreciation for value-added services like loyalty programs and promotional offers, which can help restaurants maintain customer engagement during these challenging times."

According to the survey, 86% of Americans cited promotions as a major incentive to dine out, closely followed by coupons and discounts at 81%. Additionally, 65% of respondents find value in loyalty programs, and nearly half (47%) are attracted to Happy Hour deals.

“This shows a clear trend of consumers seeking ways to maximize value in response to rising menu prices and the ongoing impacts of inflation,” said Givex.

Other key insights from the Givex 2024 Restaurant and Dining Trends Survey include:

  • Shifts in Dining and Delivery: Some 41% of respondents are dining out less frequently, while 45% have reduced their food delivery orders compared to last year. Meanwhile, 60% report cooking more at home.
  • Loyalty Programs: Nearly half of all Americans prioritize grocery loyalty programs, with 49% rating them as most important. Overall, 87% of Americans participate in at least one loyalty program.
  • Technology Adoption: There’s a growing acceptance of AI—specifically conversational AI-driven product recommendation technology—in the restaurant industry, with 52% of Americans comfortable with its implementation. In the 2024 Restaurant Technology Study co-sponsored by Givex, 63% of restaurant operators surveyed said they are planning to use or add AI or automation/robotics into their operations. Both data sets underscore the growing demand for emerging technology to enhance the customer experience and restaurant operations.