Is Dining Solo Becoming the Norm?

Consumers dine alone more than half the time.

While communal tables remain a hot design trend for foodservice operators from all industry segments, it seems a growing number of consumers now dine alone, according to data from NPD.

Consumers dine alone about 60 percent of the time at breakfast. Going solo at breakfast is driven by time constraints, routine, and being away-from-home, at work or at school, finds NPD’s food and beverage market research. Fifty-five percent of lunch meals are solitary occasions where quick and easy is the driving need, and, again, many consumers are away from home. Between meal occasions, like snacking, are typically solo since these occasions typically occur when consumers are away from home or on the go.

Dinner is the least likely meal occasion to be eaten alone. Only 32 percent of dinner meals are solo dining occasions. Dinner is unique among meal occasions since it focuses more on being with family or socially engaged. Nearly half of all families with kids eat dinner together at least five times a week, according to NPD.

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