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Consumer Trends

Millennials crave off-premise? Not as much as boomers

A new study shows that the older generation has the strongest pent-up demand for delivery and takeout.
Photograph: Shutterstock

The boom in delivery and takeout is often attributed to a surge in demand from millennials, but new research shows baby boomers may be the drivers of ongoing growth.

Data compiled for the National Restaurant Association shows that 51% of baby boomers—defined for the research as consumers ages 55 to 73—are not ordering delivery and takeout as often as they’d like. That compares with 43% of millennials, or people ages 21 to 38.

Nearly the same portion of the younger group, 42%, indicated a desire to dine on-premise more frequently. That compares with the 38% of baby boomers who said they’d like to eat at restaurants more often.

Sandwiched in between those two generations were Gen Xers, who demonstrated a strong desire for more off-premise meals (49%) and on-premise dining (47%). The research defines members of that cohort as consumers ages 39 to 54.

The research confirms that consumers are still hungering for more takeout and delivery. Forty-nine percent said they would like more off-premise restaurant meals, compared with 42% who cited a pent-up demand for dine-in occasions.

The Association interpreted the findings as an indication that restaurant sales are likely to increase overall during 2019, despite a year-over-year decrease in August of about $800 million. Sales dipped that month to $64.1 million, the first monthly decline since November 2018.

The research, a telephone survey of consumers conducted in mid-September, was conducted for the Association by Engine.

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