As a 59 year old man it is interesting to note that in the last 50 years the percentage of their budget that Americans spend on restaurant food has almost doubled from about 25% in 1955 to 46% today. I remember when going out to eat was a real treat and now it is common place. As the oldest of five children, I don't think I can remember more than five times going out to eat in a restaurant with my family and this was on one vacation we took to Washington, DC.
Gregg Easterbrook points out in his book, The Progress Paradox, that many Americans today believe that times are hard, but compared to previous generations we live like royalty. I have been reviewing some of the indicators for "quality of life" which Easterbrook discusses. I wonder how many people would say that the ease, convenience, and delectibility of eating in restaurants has improved their satisfaction with their lives as compared to a "home cooked meal"?