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Insight of the Day: To Many Americans, Eating Fast Food is Now a Luxury

Key Takeaways: Rising Costs Change Fast Food Perception

  • Fast Food as Luxury: 78% of Americans now consider fast food a luxury due to inflated prices, a significant shift in perception.

  • Reduced Consumption: 62% of consumers are eating less fast food because of higher prices.

  • Price Comparison: Almost half of respondents find fast food costs similar to sit-down restaurants, with 22% finding it more expensive.

  • Tipping Fatigue: 44% of consumers report being asked to tip at fast-food restaurants, and 43% refuse.

  • Home Cooking Preference: 56% of respondents prefer to cook at home for an affordable meal, compared to 28% who choose fast food.

  • Generational Divide: Older generations prefer home cooking more than younger generations, with only 47% of Gen Z choosing to cook at home.


Rising costs have led to a significant change in how Americans perceive fast food. It's no longer considered a cheap and convenient option, but rather a luxury. This shift is causing consumers to eat less fast food and opt for home-cooked meals instead. The added pressure of tipping requests is further discouraging fast-food consumption. The generational divide highlights that younger generations are more likely to still consider fast food as an option, but the overall trend indicates a growing preference for home cooking as a more affordable alternative.


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