The limitations of this Nation’s Restaurant News chart, which denotes foodservice spending by country from 6/05 to 6/06, are manifold: it doesn’t address population size or per capita income, and the weird caveats (no catering figures in the United States, and Japan’s number only comes from two of its cities) cast doubt on the reliability of the whole thing. Let’s at least rectify the population problem, shall we?
Great Britain: $806
Now, we could continue with our statistical analysis and talk about, say, these figures as a percentage of per capita income, but that’s really asking too much of the numbers. What surprised us? Surely not the United States, where everyone goes out to eat all the time because they work twice as much as everyone else does (how’s that for an oversimplification?). But Spain’s figure is impressive, given it’s lower per capita income than the other listed European countries. Maybe all that tapas really starts to add up.
Anyway, if we are to believe the American figure, then it works out to something like $3.50 a day that we spend in restaurants. Here we have to be careful to make a distinction between the American “we” and the editorial “we,” because this we spends way more than that. Twice that on lunch alone, and only the credit card companies know what we spend on dinner. Let’s chalk it up to occupational hazard, as we try to figure out why the Germans dine in private.
[Photo: Nation’s Restaurant News]