In Battle for Disposable Income, Dining Out Devours the Competition

For Americans under 34, the amount of money spent dining out has increased by more than 20% over the last decade; as the recording industry has been in a tailspin. In the battle to earn urbanites' dollars, food purveyors are the new rock stars.
May 14, 2013, 8am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Over the past decade, we’ve seen the rise of the foodie class and decline of the record industry. Are the two related?" asks Chris Richards. "When did we start talking about new food trucks instead of new bands? When did the line outside El Centro D.F. taqueria get longer than the line outside the Black Cat? Is $8 a reasonable price for an order of duck fat french fries just because we can stream our music for free on Spotify?"

Although the direct connection may be a stretch, Richards makes a persuasive argument that "gastronomical adventures provide the thrills that rock-and-roll used to."

"New restaurants appeal to our sense of discovery," he says. "Our diets can reflect our identities, our politics. For fans of thrash metal and/or live octopus sashimi, food is a way to sate cravings for the maximal, visceral and extreme."

"And above all, unlike music, food provides a sensual pleasure that can’t be transmitted digitally. We can’t download a banh mi."

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Published on Friday, May 10, 2013 in The Washington Post
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