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Foodservice patrons.

Although the proportion of adults who where foodservice patrons on a typical day in January 1992 differed little from January 1991 and 1990, the mix of on-premises versus off-premises patronage has changed significantly.

The proportion of adults who were on-premises patrons declined from 38 percent in January 1990 to 30 percent this January. Meanwhile, the proportion who were takeout or delivery patrons rose from 18 percent in January 1990 to 22 percent in January 1992.

As the economy slowed in 1990 and 1991, adults who ate out apparently changed their behavior, becoming more inclined to purchase carryout items and less inclined to eat on the premises. Fully 75 percent of those who were foodservice patrons in January 1990 ate on the premises, compared with a significantly lower 63 percent of patrons who were on-premises customers in January 1992. In contrast, the share oof patrons who were off-premises customers rose from 36 percent in January 1990 to 44 percent in January 1992, according to the Foodservice Market Measure.

As was the case in 1991, lunch is the on-premises meal that consumers seem most inclined to give up. Only 15 percent of adults were on-premises customers for lunch on a typical day in January 1992, down from 17 percent in January 1991 and 23 percent in January 1990.

When it comes to overall foodservice patronage, households with incomes of $40,000 or more recorded a significantly lower level of patronage in January 1992 than two year ago. Although adults in this income class are substantially more likely to be foodservice patrons than consumers with incomes below $40,000 are, the proportion who were customers on a typical January day declined from 61 percent in 1992 to 58 percent in 1991 to 54 percent in 1992. Patronage was also off for adults in the 55 to 64-year-old group.

Foodservice Market Measure

The Foodservice Market Measure is based on 1,000 telephone interviews, conducted by the Gallup Organization each month, with a nationally representative sample of adults age 18 and older. Each person is asked the same questions:

1. Which of the following did you do yesterday?

* Ate on the premises of a restaurant, fast food place, cafeteria or any other place where you purchased a meal or snack.

* Purchased takeout food "to go" or had it delivered.

2. Was the food you ate on premises yesterday for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack?

3. Was the takeout food you purchased or had delivered for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack?

The monthly tracking of purchases is supplemented by quarterly inquiries on topics of industry interest.
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Title Annotation:National Restaurant Association Gallup Survey
Author:Mills, Susan
Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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