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Numbers show more people are dining out

You get home from a long day at work and the thought of having to cook a meal from scratch makes you bang your head on the steering wheel.

This is a battle many Canadians face on a daily basis.

According to information released by Stats Canada in January, 54 per cent of Canadians responding to a government survey said they eat out at least once or more a week, while 39 per cent eat out less than once a week.

Only eight per cent of respondents said they hadn’t eaten out in the past month.

According to the survey results, the main reasons people eat out are convenience and socializing.

Forty per cent of respondents said they eat out due to not liking to cook, not knowing how or having no time.

On the other hand, 52 per cent of respondents stated eating out is seen as treating themselves, celebrating a special occasion or event, or socializing with friends and family.

Dinner is by far the meal Canadians go out for the most, as 49 per cent of respondents to the survey go out for their evening meal, followed by lunch (33 per cent) and breakfast (10 per cent).

Even when Canadians go out for dinner, it seems they are trying to eat healthy, as 57 per cent of the respondents said they “always, often, or sometimes” change their order based on nutrition information on the menu.

According to research conducted at Dalhousie University, about 35 per cent of the food budget in Canadian households goes towards eating out or on the go.

University officials believe this will continue to rise and reach a 50/50 split by 2030.

However, Canada is still far behind its neighbour to the south, as about 55 per cent of the food budget is spent eating out in the U.S.

These trends can be seen in the success of Canada’s commercial restaurant industry, which generated $68.1 billion in sales in 2017, up nearly 120 per cent over the past two decades.