Despite the gripes of consumers who feel that dining out is too expensive and getting more so, the latest data from NPD Group’s CREST research suggests Americans are doing better than diners in many other countries.
A comparison of average eater checks as reported by NPD since the first quarter of 2012 finds that spending may fluctuate quarterly but year-over-year it has not risen dramatically. The average U.S. per-person check in the first quarter of 2013 was $6.48, a 2.53% from $6.32 in the year-earlier quarter.
Canadians spent slightly more ($6.84 in Q1 ’13) but saw a smaller check inflation (0.9%) in the past year. According to NPD data, the average U.K. eater check in Q1 this year ($7.12) was actually 3% lower than it had been a year earlier ($7.34).
The most dramatic shift was for diners in China, where the average eater check jumped 46% from $2.76 in Q1 2012 to $4.03 in Q1 2013. Australian diners spent the most ($8.81) in this year’s Q1, just as they did a year ago ($8.44). Australia saw the second-largest (after China) percentage increase in average spend (4.38%) between the first quarters of 2012 and 2013.
All average checks are in U.S. dollars, based on conversion rates during quarterly reports.