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Millennials are either killing the restaurant industry or saving it. 

Elisabeth Sherman
June 28, 2017

A new survey from Bankrate has found that millennials love to eat.

Okay, it goes into a little more detail than that. According to Bankrate, 54% of the 1,003 millennials surveyed eat out at least three times a week, or buy a coffee at least three times a week. The site suggests curbing these expenditures would allow the much scrutinized generation to save money. Although Bankrate labels these spending habits as “vices,” they don’t explain the reasoning behind why this age group eats out so much.

For instance, last year researchers found that millennials are actually workaholics who have a better work ethic than their baby boomer counterparts. Maybe they are too busy trying to make ends meet to cook every night (the Bankrate survey doesn’t specify, but it’s safe to assume “eating out” doesn’t mean a meal at Michelin star restaurant) or need that extra boost of caffeine to get through their “side hustle.”

The survey also found that 51% of younger millennials, which refers to those ages 21 to 26, go to a bar at least once a week. This, admittedly, is an expensive habit, but who among us can deny that a glass of rosé or a cocktail can be a much-needed antidote to the stresses of adult life? Perhaps millennials aren’t “falling victim to vices,” as much as they are taking the necessary steps to preserve their sanity.

As has been written about before, avocado toast is not the reason millennials can’t afford to buy houses – which, by the way, they don’t even eat very often. Food is meant to be enjoyed, so it’s time people let millennials enjoy it, without the reminders that they’re “killing” big chains or their budgets in the process. 

The way that millennials spend their money has a powerful effect on our society – their eating habits are being blamed for driving America’s established food brands to bankruptcy, for one thing, yet simultaneously keeping chains like Red Lobster and Olive Garden afloat. They're a generation full of contradiction, it seems.

The survey concludes that the average millennial eats out five times per week, which is pretty often. Bankrates’ solution? Easy! Just prep all of your meals at home on Sunday. (Assuming, you know, you're not working your extra shift at Starbucks that day.)

Sure, some people might think millennials spending their money irresponsibly, but that isn't going to change the fact that what and how they eat is shaping the future of food.