Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Drive Thrus Take hit in down economy

This was an interesting article in the Star Tribune the other day. According to the article the breakfast industry (drive thru fast food) has been thriving in the past decade because workers are in a rush to get to work and grab something fast. The result had been major chains opening the doors quite early. It seems this uptick is done:

Breakfast sales had grown at a ravenous pace during the boom years as busy workers scarfed down sausage biscuits and other fare on the way to the office, fueling a $57 billion business and accounting for as much as a quarter of sales at some fast-food chains. Chains opened earlier and expanded their morning menus to accommodate the traffic as lunch and dinner sales flat-lined.

But as the jobless rate hit 26-year highs, fewer people headed to work, and even those who did worried about their spending. So they poured bowls of cereal at home or simply slept in, putting breakfast on the back burner.

What I thought was interesting was how these hard economic times for the most part seem to be changing our behaviors in a good way. For example this alone means Mom and Dad are home longer, have quality time in the morning with each other and kids, are eating better (hopefully), and maybe enjoying a few extra minutes to themselves. Then it got me thinking even more. With fewer dollars what else goes by the way side?

Let's see - living closer to work, reducing the use of private automobile (maybe even a 1 car household), wiser spending on food, increased importance on quality and not quantity, and better understanding of how this all works together. So this article gives me hope that people can see how land use, transportation, education, health, wealth, housing, and quality of life are really intertwined and all this from not using the drive thru anymore.

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