Millennials love their restaurants.
Never mind the burden of student-loan debt and those low paychecks. Millennials—or at least those between 25 and 34 years old—spend more money on food outside the home than Boomers do.
Millennial households spent an average of $ 2,639 a year on their burgers, pizza, coffee and more in 2013, according to The Food Institute, a food-industry group. That’s 10.6% more than the $ 2,386 that the average Boomer household spends eating away from home.
Put another way, 43% of every dollar that millennials spend on food is spent outside their home. Boomers spend between 37% and 38% of their food budget that way, the industry group said.
And millennials won’t settle for what their Boomer parents ate—which helps explain the popularity of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. CMG, -0.58% and Shake Shack Inc. SHAK, +117.48% whose shares more than doubled on their trading debut Friday, and the accompanying struggles of McDonald’s Inc. MCD, -0.91%
“They’re looking for a little more upscale experience,” said Brian Todd, The Food Institute’s president.
At least two other factors help drive their restaurant spending: They tend to snack more than Boomers (hence those trips to Starbucks) and they are less likely to know how to cook, he said.