Impoverished US Consumers Drown Their Sorrows In Outdoor Dining

Tyler Durden's picture


While phrases like 'eat the rich' or 'fatter-cats' might come to mind, the rise in discretionary spending on dining-out, that has surged post 2009 crisis lows, has now regained levels not seen since 2007. The percentage of discretionary income spent on dining-out may conjure images of filet mignon and Margaux, but it is critical to understand that the sub-index contains all restaurant-eating including Denny's, McDonalds, and the other QSRs; and in the current weakening income environment, it is a safe-bet that much of this spend is not headed to Delmonico's. With food stamps at record highs, real disposable personal income growth stagnant, and real consumer spending decelerating rapidly the difference between consumer sentiment and real consumer actions seems to highlight the hope-filled 'bubble' we find ourselves in as the first quarter is off to a very weak start for spending trends.


All-in-all, Bloomberg points out that their 'Fab Five' measures of discretionary consumer spending are notably worrisome in January with the dining-out spend slowing (and the blend assuredly changing), women's and girls clothing spend dropping, cosmetics spending rose far less than expected, gambling revenues dropped MoM, and even jewelry and watches fell in January and are down notably YoY


As Bloomberg notes, a perfect example of weak concrete data, but optimistic sentiment.


Charts: Bloomberg

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Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:38 | 2224583 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

let them eat fake 

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:46 | 2224643 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Fast food joints are subsidized poison.

Cheaper than eating real food.


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:50 | 2224667 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Subway is pretty good.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:51 | 2224676 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

Please tell me that was sarcasm.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:52 | 2224681 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Please tell me what's so horrible about it, especially when compared to the likes of KFC, McD's...

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:57 | 2224716 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Based on the drop iin silver and increase in dining people are trading silver for big macs.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:11 | 2224788 Alethiometer
Alethiometer's picture

The two aren't corrleated.  Gold and Silver prices are being heavily manipulated by central banks in order to suppress their true dollar-denominated price.

Just remember that everything can be PRICED in gold though.  When you start to see the two start to explode away from each other, then we'll know the tide has finally broke.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:46 | 2225005 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

The smack down in silver is, IMHO, directly related to Dr. Paul's smack down of the Bernanke last week with his silver ounce coin in reference to gallons of gasoline. They gotta show the world that silver is just a 'volatile commodity'. Be on the lookout for the stories soon.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:58 | 2225528 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Yes he showed the vampire the silver stake....a little foreshadowing?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 17:15 | 2225613 minosgal
minosgal's picture

'Why would bread need some cheap sugary liquid?'


Not really kvetching here, but yeast needs sugar (or honey) in order to rise.

Chemistry (or kitchen witchery, if you prefer).

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:57 | 2224714 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

The subs have almost no nutrients.  The main aspect, and most costly part of the sub, is the meat.  Which is trash.  Now if you had to pick one fast food joint, than fine.  And if you want something that isnt fried, ok.  And if you are trying to lose weight, maybe subway is better than the rest.  I know by experience that the meat is the lowest of quality, bought in excessively large bulk. 

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:01 | 2224736 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes! Folks we have a winnah!

It is as if the coldcuts were imported from China...

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:18 | 2224828 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

I myself drive home for lunch, and stop by the Whole foods and purchase a fresh organically raised Mahi-Mahi steak, then also stop by the organic olive bar. Then help myself to some fair trade vegetables. When I get home I whip up the most nutritious lunch ever.

When my boss sees me arrive back to work at 4:30, he's understanding, because he knows I'm saving him on health care costs.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:24 | 2224864 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

LOL.  Nice.  I get ripped apart for eating almost a 100% organic diet by my wife and friends.  And dont really give a fuck.  Its gotten to the point where I just say, ya I'm probably a dumbass for overpaying.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:35 | 2224933 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Problem is, unless you personally know how that "organic" food is produced, chances are it's the same mass-produced hormone-herbicide pumped shit you get at Ralph's.  You only get a bag with a "organic" label, and a higher cost.

Kinda like Bukowski's character in Factotum, when he's packing auto parts:

The brake parts man took me up a narrow stairway.  George Henley was his name: George showed me my workroom, very small, dark, just one lightbulb and one tiny window that looked out over an alley.

"Now," he said, "you see these cartons.  You put the brake shoes into the cartons.  Like this."

Mr. Henley showed me.

"We have three types of cartons, each printed differently.  One carton is for our 'Super Durable Brake Shoe.'  The other is for our 'Super Brake Shoe.'  And the third is for our 'Standard Brake Shoe.'  The brake shoes are stacked right here.

"But they all look alike to me.  How can I tell them apart?"

"You don't.  They're all the same.  Just divide them into thirds.  And when you finish packing all these shoes, come on downstairs and we'll find something else for you to do.  O.K.?"

"O.K.  When do I start?"

"You start now.  And, absolutely no smoking.  Not up here.  If you have to smoke, you come on downstairs, O.K.?"



Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:45 | 2225000 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

Good one.  But yes, I am well aware of that.  I'll take my chances on the possibility of it being organic though, rather than knowing for sure that its not. 

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:04 | 2224725 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Subway was the closest fast food joint to our old shop a while back.

Here's the secret: A) Bring in some left over grilled meat from last night, B) go order the veggie sub on fresh baked wheat bread  C) Add A+B  D) You're stylin'

I recommend the chipotle squab. its exquisite.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:49 | 2225021 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

you meant to say 'subway is the best of the worst'.  like most everything else we have in this country.

snooki is better than kim.  how's that :)  coke is better than pepsi.  fox news sux....

ford is better than chevy.  obama is better than .....



Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:46 | 2225008 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Well, they do have actual vegetables, such as bell peppers, spinach. They also have tomatoes.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:05 | 2224758 mrdenis
mrdenis's picture

Do you mean eating in the subway?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:36 | 2225372 non_anon
non_anon's picture

i still eat spaghettiO's right out of the can as I did as a toddler

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 19:41 | 2226111 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

"Young adults who eat frequently at fast-food restaurants gain more weight and have a greater increase in insulin resistance in early middle age, according to a large multi-center study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and published in the January 1 issue of The Lancet*.

After 15 years, those who ate at fast-food restaurants more than twice each week compared to less than once a week had gained an extra ten pounds and had a two-fold greater increase in insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease."

80 million Americans have metabolic syndrome or prediabetes thanks mainly to our toxic food.

If you have been eating fast food a lot, you may want to check your diabetes risk:




Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:46 | 2224644 Manthong
Manthong's picture

“US Consumers Drown Their Sorrows In Outdoor Dining”

That’s going to come to mean "squirrel" pretty soon.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:58 | 2224723 Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

Mmmmmmm, squirrel.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:17 | 2224820 aheady
aheady's picture

brunswick stew bitchez

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:40 | 2224968 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

I wanna open a soup and gruel drive through.. use prison inmates for labor, local growers for produce and be in a position to capatilize on the collapse of snap card / welfare / food stamps / unemployment / S.S.I.  etc.. i'm thinking maybe go the national franchise route. Havn't decided if I should build "check cashing" style  riot bars for the windows though.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:40 | 2224969 Alea Iactaest
Alea Iactaest's picture

Don't forget rabbit.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:00 | 2224733 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



HEY - Don't knock 'em squirrels.  Kinda gamey, but not bad in a stew or with some gravy & biscuits.  :D

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:20 | 2224841 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

That's right! And there's always a few roadkill squirrels you can pick up on the way home for free.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:05 | 2224757 JohnKozac
Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:14 | 2224801 Manthong
Manthong's picture

There is always a silver lining to every dark cloud..

The progressive socialist economic legacy will be evidenced in the nuisance reduction or elimination of squirrels, pigeons, sewer rats and strays of all kinds.

Then we can eliminate the animal control departments in all levels of government..

I guess those guys will probably just be hired into DHS.


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:50 | 2225025 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Pigeon!! There are plenty of pigeons around statues and fountains. It's a delicacy in parts of Egypt.

Happy hunting.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:36 | 2224590 Jason T
Jason T's picture

Invest in a claas or a book on how to cook with rice and beans.  

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:07 | 2224763 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Crazy thing: dried beans have roughly doubled in price in my area (Brooklyn) over the past year.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:07 | 2224765 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You a need a class for that? Or a book?

Hell, simple trial and error would be cheaper than either....

Hint: neither of them BBQ very well, they keep falling through the grill....

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:10 | 2224786 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:54 | 2225052 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Step one: fill pot with water

Step two: add beans or rice

Step three: boil and wait

Step four: fill tortilla, open beer, and eat


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:46 | 2224592 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Tight money + can't cook = long DENN

Besides, it's only a matter of time before "dining out" becomes part of the stealth entitlement that is food stamps:

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:38 | 2224601 q99x2
q99x2's picture

No place to live. No place to cook.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:19 | 2224832 aheady
aheady's picture


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:39 | 2224604 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Cooking quality food at home is getting really expensive too. Eating out? LOL!

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 18:04 | 2225866 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Ralph Spoilsport

Cooking quality food at home is getting really expensive too.

Eating out, is less expensive than preparing healthy,and tasty meals at home.

People (some) want to blame obesity on folks appetites.When the reality is the bad foods are all they can afford.

What are the Gub staples at handouts?.Peanut butter, and Real Butter, try not adding pounds with that and bread mostly in your diet.

Fresh vegtables?,fruits????........thing of the past.$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Out of sight,lean cuts of any meat?, poultry, pork, beef........

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA,also a thing of the past for 50-75% of Americans.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:40 | 2224612 alfred b.
alfred b.'s picture


Candlelight dining coming to a McD's near you!


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:41 | 2224615 dumpster
dumpster's picture

eat a burger outdoors at mcdonalds

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:42 | 2224619 Frastric
Frastric's picture

Harking back to the Roman Empire, the spending/eating/gambling/clothing/tech/bling/vanity orgy gripping America is coming to an end...

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:56 | 2225066 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Orgies? When do we start? Will there be togas?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:44 | 2224630 Gunther
Gunther's picture

What does that really mean?
People eat out more because they can afford it - highly unlikely.
Those living in a car on a Wal-Mart / McPuke parking lot eat the locally available junk food seems a possibility.
People stop paying the underwater mortgage spend the newly available income on dining out - possibly.
A breakdown in high and low quality food outlets should tell what is going on.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:51 | 2224677 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Where im at, bread is right at 2.59 a loaf. But i can drive to MCD's and get a double cheeseburger and a drink for 2.17$.    Some of the smarter sheep have figured this out.

They now choose to pay interest on the double cheeseburger to make up the diff on the loaf of bread by using their credit cards instead of cash or debit.



Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:58 | 2225080 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

They now choose to pay interest on the double cheeseburger to make up the diff on the loaf of bread by using their credit cards instead of cash or debit.


Who says they will be able to pay the CC bill when it comes?

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