The COVID-19 Pandemic, Rising Inflation, and Their Influence on Dining Out Frequency and Spending. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: High intake of food away from home is associated with poor diet quality. This study examines how the COVID-19 pandemic period and Food Away from Home (FAFH) inflation rate fluctuations influenced dining out behaviors. METHODS: Approximately 2800 individuals in Texas reported household weekly dining out frequency and spending. Responses completed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (2019 to early 2020) were compared to the post-COVID-19 period (2021 through mid-2022). Multivariate analysis with interaction terms was used to test study hypotheses. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: From the COVID-19 period (before vs. after), the unadjusted frequency of dining out increased from 3.4 times per week to 3.5 times per week, while the amount spent on dining out increased from $63.90 to $82.20. Once the relationship between dining out (frequency and spending) was adjusted for FAFH interest rate and sociodemographic factors, an increase in dining out frequency post-COVID-19 remained significant. However, the unadjusted increase in dining out spending did not remain significant. Further research to understand the demand for dining out post-pandemic is warranted.

published proceedings

  • Nutrients

author list (cited authors)

  • Gao, J., Keenan, O. E., Johnson, A. S., Wilhelm, C. A., Paul, R., & Racine, E. F.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Gao, Jingjing||Keenan, Odessa E||Johnson, Abbey S||Wilhelm, Carissa A||Paul, Rajib||Racine, Elizabeth F

publication date

  • March 2023