Gastronomy Expenditures in Europe Growing Quickly

Judging by the absolute numbers of expenditures for gastronomy, one could get the impression that the Swiss always eat out: the average Swiss spends over €2,100 per year at bars and restaurants. But anyone who has ever had to pay for their fondue or raclette while in Switzerland knows that the price levels are particularly high. The average Albanian would have to fork out about two monthly salaries to pay for an evening meal in Switzerland. On top of the generally high prices, the current exchange rate makes them seem even higher. The same can be said for Great Britain, where gastronomy expenditures stand at around €1,600 per capita per year, although the British are generally not known for being gourmets.
Throughout Europe, expenditures for restaurants and similar establishments have been rising con-tinuously: more single households, a greater number of fast food options, and less time for cooking are all pushing people to eat out more often. However, there are still considerable differences between individual countries when it comes to the available money and the willingness to eat out. In particular, the expenditures for gastronomy in Southern Europe are dramatically lower than those in Central or Western Europe.
All in all, residents of the CEE countries end to eat at home, although some significant differences between countries also exist within this group. Whereas people certainly do eat out from time to time in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, or also Turkey, going out to eat does not appear to be a realistic alternative for residents of Serbia, Bosnia, and especially Romania.
In contrast, Austria, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and France all appear to be home to an above-average number of gourmets – and ones with the necessary purchasing power. Expenditures for eating out are significantly higher in these countries, and not only in absolute terms, but also in relative terms as a share of total purchasing power, where gastronomy accounts for between 5 and 7%.

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