Report: More Americans Dining At Full Service Restaurants

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – A report Friday in The New York Times says more and more Americans are choosing to eat at full service, or sit down, restaurants. The report cites the data as an indicator that the economy is improving.

At Duffy’s Sports Grill in Fort Lauderdale, it was busy Friday night. You would expect that during NCAA March Madness.

But management at the restaurant says they are seeing more customers like the Dittmeier family.

“Our budget is built up a little bit,” said Mike Dittmeier. “So, we tend to find we come out a little bit more.”

The New York Times report says the 12 month increase is a clear indicator that people believe the economy is improving. Duffy’s customer Maureen Doherty is in that camp.

“I think people are feeling more confident now,” Maureen Doherty said.

‪The report says the percentage of Americans choosing restaurants were they will be waited on is growing at a faster clip than any time since the strong economy of the late 1990’s.‬

‪At Duffy’s they’ve seen an increase in customers — maybe not as fast as the Times report sees nationwide — but an increase, nonetheless. ‬

“Go in, get waited on, a little more service,” said Duffy’s General Manager Mark Wampole. “I think that for sure — it’s one of the indicators we’re seeing a big turnaround.”

For some the economy may not be improving enough for a sit down family meal at a restaurant. But Annette Dittmeier says it’s a priority for her family when they can afford it.

“We have a little bit more so it’s worth it,” said Annette Dittmeier. “We need that time.”

South Florida tourism experts tell CBS 4 News that they are seeing significant increase in business at family restaurants and high end restaurants.

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