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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BKbroiler's picture

let them eat fake 

Ahmeexnal's picture

Fast food joints are subsidized poison.

Cheaper than eating real food.


SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

Please tell me that was sarcasm.

EscapeKey's picture

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

JPM Hater001's picture

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

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.

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.

Raymond Reason's picture

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

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).

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. 

Flakmeister's picture

Yes! Folks we have a winnah!

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

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.

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.

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.?"



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. 

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.

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 .....



A Nanny Moose's picture

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

mrdenis's picture

Do you mean eating in the subway?

non_anon's picture

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

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:




Manthong's picture

“US Consumers Drown Their Sorrows In Outdoor Dining”

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

aheady's picture

brunswick stew bitchez

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.

mayhem_korner's picture



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

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.

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.


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.

Jason T's picture

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

blunderdog's picture

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

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....

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


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:

q99x2's picture

No place to live. No place to cook.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

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

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.

alfred b.'s picture


Candlelight dining coming to a McD's near you!


dumpster's picture

eat a burger outdoors at mcdonalds

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...

A Nanny Moose's picture

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

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.

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.



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?