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Baby Boomers are dining out less often; One reason is that almost 20% of them are dead

By Hugh Robert

Don’t look now, but there’s a whole new generation of restaurant customers coming. As the Baby Boomer generation begins to “age out” of the restaurant market, a new demographic, Generation Z, is replacing them.

Baby Boomers are eating out less as they age and die off.

Boomers, whose affluence as well as sheer numbers have made them a prime target market for restaurants, especially the more traditional table service independents, are increasingly turning away from “going out to dinner.”

The reasons are many and varied — personal mobility limitations; unwillingness to drive, especially after dark; and new lifestyle choices, such as senior living communities, but the impact seems obvious — a slow but steady decline in the number of Baby Boomer dining out occasions.

Another reason Baby Boomers — defined as those born between 1943 and 1964 — are eating out less: nearly 20 percent of them have died off.

Recent research by the National Restaurant Association flagged another aspect of this shift in demand. Baby boomers, the telephone survey discovered, have a high level of interest in take out and delivery, with more than half of the respondents indicating they’d like to order delivery more often than they do. It seems likely, then, that Boomer dollars will soon migrate to delivery rather than on-site dining.

Restaurants of all types, it seems, need to be recalibrating their menu, service styles, and marketing to appeal to a younger demographic, especially Generation Z (those born after the year 2000). That group has already replaced the Baby Boom generation as the largest generational group in terms of sheer numbers, and it’s the industry’s challenge to find ways to attract these future customers with the dining experience for which they’ll be looking in the years ahead.

30 thoughts on “Baby Boomers are dining out less often; One reason is that almost 20% of them are dead

    1. The first baby boomers (born in 1943, by definition) are now 77 years old. With the average lifespan of a US male being 83, 20% dead seems a bit high, but not out-of-the-question so. And definitely, dining out less.

      I am just shy of 70 (born early 1950), and we don’t eat out as often as before. Partially simple convenience. Partially I am a pretty good cook, and my wife usually says “but you make it better at home than this” after most restaurant meals. 🙂

      OTOH, we ARE going to Mercado (in Cuenca) tonight. Celebrating their 5th anniversary, they promise a special menu with wine paring. Being less than a block from our apartment, we figured we just had to go try it…

      1. Somewhere between 76 and 78.1 avg life span for US male. Dropping as well. Source: World Bank and others. 83! It’s never been that high in my life time. Curious about the source for that figure.

          1. That’s because males had to work so hard and endure the stress of supporting their families throughout their lifetimes.

          2. That’s because men work harder than women and, therefore, the added stress shortens their lifespan.

            Ahhh, to be a woman and get to stay home all day watching soaps and eating chocolate. That is the life!

            1. “Men are more likely to smoke, drink excessively and be overweight,” he says. “They are also less likely to seek medical help early, and, if diagnosed with a disease, they are more likely to be non-adherent to treatment.” On top of all that, he says, men are more likely to take life-threatening risks and to die in car accidents, brawls or gun fights.

              There’s evidence that a man’s biology—namely, his elevated levels of the male sex hormone testosterone—may lead him into the kind of trouble that could shorten his life. Research from Duke University has found that elevated testosterone levels are associated with risky behaviors.


        1. i’ve seen sources that state some life expectancy averages to be around 90, like in some boroughs of london

      2. The figures been given out here are sadly wishful thinking.The artcile matches the most reputable sources.

        Tragically, but not unexpectedly, the USA has the lowest life expectancy of any developed country..and by many measures, it is now dropping, bucking the global trend. It is between Cuba and Costa Rica by the WHO measure and between Guinea and Lebanon according to the UN. The US male life expectancy now stands at 76.9 years (WHO) and 78.8 (UN).

        There are 3-4 countries (Switzerland, Italy, Japan and Singapore) with joint expectancy over 83 and they are rising along with almost other countries.

        Female over male life expectancy is still higher but the difference is constantly shrinking.

        But, as we get older, our life expectancy gets ever greater. For example, a Canadian male at 70, can expect to live until 92, way up from his expectancy at birth of 80.2 .

        There is also the well-being factor aka how healthy one is as age increases. Not as much fun living when you are not fully capable.

  1. numbers don’t lie, but lier’s do figure, I studied statistics, voodoo science be careful with numbers

      1. Sure, you can make so called “statistics” fit any argument you wish , honestly, statistics really do not tell much of a story, and can be easily manipulated,,,, and that (and a few other dumb things) is what I learned in college statistics class LOL but hey, I got the credits.

        Let me put it another way, do you really think a poll of 800 people in the US reflects the views of the general population, so called margin of error notwithstanding. Not me.

        I also took a course in Logic, best course I took the whole 4 years.

        1. I think you and I read the same book (required reading at the time”) “How to Lie With Statistics”.

          1. I do not recall the book but if you took the course you know what I am talking about , it was enlightening

        1. It’s Lars, not Lar’s.

          Lar’s is possessive and Lars is a proper name. Most women already know this because they were able to stay home and improve their language skills while their men were out working and bringing home the bacon….

  2. A locator app is necessary in Cuenca because the restaurant changes are frequent. And, the specials need to start earlier. Afternoons are the most attractive both for food and music.

  3. We enjoy eating out. Cuenca has lovely venues and Lima (which has surpassed Paris for food excellence). is a hop away.

  4. Pretty Sure the Obamacare program helped kill a lot of people so they wouldn’t be on social security, It’s the government programs, fake food and crappy medical system in the US killing everyone.

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