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Consumer Trends

Political affiliation plays into dining-out decisions, finds new poll

Democrats and Republications are divided about restaurant dining during a pandemic.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Republicans are more likely to dine indoors at a restaurant this summer while Democrats prefer outdoor dining, according to data from the Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study.

A web-based survey of over 10,000 Americans revealed that 17% of Republicans have eaten inside a restaurant, while only 10% of Democrats have dined in. Outdoor dining is a slightly more popular choice with Democrats (11%).

Responses also varied according to age. Not surprisingly, older Americans are the least likely to patronize a restaurant. But of those respondents in the 55+ age group, more chose to eat indoors than out (8% vs. 4%). Eighteen to 34-year-olds were the least hesitant to go out to eat; 17% have dined indoors and 16% outdoors.

Families with children were the most frequent customers, with 19% saying they had eaten out recently, perhaps indicating that groups are going to restaurants more often with others in their “social bubble.”

The self-administered web survey was conducted during the first two weeks of July. Results are based on an opt-in sample of 10,014 U.S. adults, aged 18 or older.

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