Quoted – What’s for dinner? – Natural Food Merchandiser

This is actually Tom's Restaurant, NYC. Famous...
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Faced with layoffs, lower wages and a loss of confidence in the economy, cash-strapped consumers are forgoing restaurant trips, grabbing the wok and cooking at home. Restaurant visits slid 1.5 percent in the three months ending in February versus a year ago, according to Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research firm NPD Group. That followed a 0.8 percent quarterly dip in late 2008, the first such drop since 2003. Consumers may be leaving those pricey restaurant tabs behind, but they don’t want to scrimp on enjoyment as they aim to create restaurant-worthy experiences in their own dining rooms.

“You want to make it as easy as possible for the consumer to get everything, bring it home and prepare it,” says Scott Testa, marketing professor at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

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