Consumer spending in restaurants has trended generally higher in 2019, despite a downtick in August. Based on new National Restaurant Association research, the positive industry sales trajectory has more room to run.

Forty-two percent of adults say they are not eating on premises at restaurants as often as they would like, according to a telephone survey conducted September 12-16 by Engine for the National Restaurant Association. In addition, 49 percent of adults say they would like to be using takeout and delivery more frequently. 

Levels of pent-up demand are generally consistent for millennials and Gen Xers, with similar proportions saying they would like to be using on-premises and off-premises options more frequently.

However, baby boomers are more likely to express interest in boosting their off-premises spending. Fifty-one percent of baby boomers say they aren’t purchasing takeout or delivery as often as they would like, while 38 percent responded similarly about on-premises dining.

Read more analysis and commentary from the Association's chief economist Bruce Grindy.