September 16, 2023 | Allison Robertson

Why More People Are Opting for Take-Out

The Rising Cost of Fine Dining

cash and woman in disbelief split

In recent years, there's been a noticeable shift in consumer behavior when it comes to dining out. Once considered a luxury or special treat, a night out at a restaurant has become a rarity for many, with take-out or delivery options becoming increasingly popular.

At the heart of this trend lies a significant factor: the escalating costs associated with fine dining.

Here, we dig into the financial reasons behind this shift and why more and more individuals are choosing to enjoy their meals from the comfort of home.

1. The Growing Expense of Fine Dining

Man in white shirt is having dinner with two girls at dining table.prostooleh , Freepik

Fine dining establishments, known for their ambiance, service, and gourmet menus, also come with a hefty price tag.

Over the years, these costs have only gone up, driven by factors such as inflation, rising food costs, and increasing overheads for restaurant owners.

Inflation and Food Costs: The price of ingredients is always on the rise. Restaurants, to maintain their profit margins, naturally pass on these increased costs to the consumers.

Operational Costs: With growing rental rates, salaries, and utilities, running a restaurant is more expensive than ever.

2. Additional Hidden Costs

Rude guestsPexels

When planning a night out, one often forgets the 'add-ons' to the main meal price. There's the cost of beverages, possibly a dessert, tax, and a 15-20% tip.

Furthermore, for those who like a glass of wine or a cocktail with their meal, alcohol can significantly inflate the final bill.

3. The Convenience of Take-Out

Weirdest Date FactsShutterstock

With the advent of food delivery apps and services, getting a hot, delicious meal delivered to your doorstep has never been easier.

This convenience, combined with the comfort of eating at home, has made take-out an increasingly attractive option.


4. Changing Social Norms

Group of friends at homeMonkey Business, Adobe Stock

Culturally, the need to go out for social experiences has diminished with more people opting for home gatherings, movie nights, or virtual hangouts.

Financially, this makes sense, as it often costs less to host or join a potluck than to dine out.

5. Comparative Costs

Young woman looking at menu in restaurant with stroller by her side.Nicoleta Ionescu , Shutterstock

Take-out, even from upscale restaurants, often turns out cheaper than dining in. Without the overheads of dining space and in-house service, restaurants can sometimes afford to price their take-out options more affordably.

6. Economic Factors

A person holding a jar of coinsTowfiqu barbhuiya, Pexels

With economic uncertainties, many people are tightening their belts and looking for ways to save. Cutting back on luxury experiences, like fine dining, is a logical step for those aiming to keep their finances in check.

7. The Rise of Casual Dining and Food Trucks

Food truckAdobe

The popularity of casual dining spots and food trucks offers a middle ground. These options provide quality food without the formalities and high costs of fine dining establishments.

Benefits of the Shift to Take-Out

Family having take out dinnerbernardbodo, Adobe Stock

While the shift from fine dining to take-out is financially driven, there are additional benefits:

Reduced Expenditure: Over time, the savings from choosing take-out over fine dining can add up significantly.

Environmental Impact: Less energy consumption in terms of lighting and air conditioning in the large spaces of fine dining restaurants.

Flexibility: No need for reservations or dress codes. You can eat on your own terms, in your own space.

Final Thoughts

Dumbest Things People Have Actually DoneShutterstock

The move from fine dining to take-out is a clear sign of the times, reflecting both the changing financial landscape and shifts in social behavior.

While the allure of fine dining will always exist for special occasions or indulgences, the practicality and cost-effectiveness of take-out are making it a preferred choice for the everyday consumer.


Budgeting for Beginners

Learn how to start a budget from scratch, including programs to use, typical expenses to track, how to organize categories, and examples of everything. From fixed and variable expenses to how often to update things, this article will make starting a budget much less overwhelming.
April 11, 2024 Allison Robertson

The Importance of Teaching Kids About Money

Uncover 20 ways to teach your children about money. Find out why financial literacy is important and how many Americans are negatively affected by financial illiteracy today, emphasizing the need to teach our children at a younger age.
April 9, 2024 Allison Robertson

The Gen Z Approach to Saving

Uncover the newest in financial trends, including how Generation Z plans to save (or not save) for the future. From prioritizing mental health to living in the moment, find out how the new generations are setting up their finances, and what their plans are for retirement.
April 5, 2024 Allison Robertson

Self-Made Millionaires Who Didn’t Finish School

Discover 16 of the world's wealthiest people who dropped out of school to follow their dreams. From working in mail rooms and delivering milk, to developing software in their garages, find out how these millionaires started from the bottom and what their net worth is today.
April 5, 2024 Sammy Tran
Happy Typist and Vintage Baseball Cards

These Antiques In Your Attic Might Be Worth A Ton Of Money

Whether you still have your parents' old collectibles or have inherited some interesting antiques don't be so quick to write them off.
April 4, 2024 Sarah Ng

The Rise of Semi-Retirement

Full retirement is no longer the only option. From supplemental income to boredom relief, there are many reasons why people are now choosing semi-retirement over full-retirement. Here's everything you need to know before you retire.
April 3, 2024 Allison Robertson

Dear reader,

It’s true what they say: money makes the world go round. In order to succeed in this life, you need to have a good grasp of key financial concepts. That’s where Moneymade comes in. Our mission is to provide you with the best financial advice and information to help you navigate this ever-changing world. Sometimes, generating wealth just requires common sense. Don’t max out your credit card if you can’t afford the interest payments. Don’t overspend on Christmas shopping. When ordering gifts on Amazon, make sure you factor in taxes and shipping costs. If you need a new car, consider a model that’s easy to repair instead of an expensive BMW or Mercedes. Sometimes you dream vacation to Hawaii or the Bahamas just isn’t in the budget, but there may be more affordable all-inclusive hotels if you know where to look.

Looking for a new home? Make sure you get a mortgage rate that works for you. That means understanding the difference between fixed and variable interest rates. Whether you’re looking to learn how to make money, save money, or invest your money, our well-researched and insightful content will set you on the path to financial success. Passionate about mortgage rates, real estate, investing, saving, or anything money-related? Looking to learn how to generate wealth? Improve your life today with Moneymade. If you have any feedback for the MoneyMade team, please reach out to [email protected]. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Moneymade team