‘Inflation-Resistant’ Business Dining Segment Continues To Gain Ground

The Business Dining Index rises to 88 in Q3, with Dinova and Technomic predicting an index of 92 in Q4.

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A new Q4 State of Business Dining Report by Dinova and Technomic predicts 2022 will close with a Business Dining Index of 92, eight points shy of a full recovery. Courtesy of Canva.

Despite continued economic concerns, the business dining segment is inching toward pre-pandemic levels, thanks to factors like a less price-conscious customer base and more offsite meetings due to sustained remote and hybrid work.

A new Q4 State of Business Dining Report by Dinova and Technomic says the third quarter closed with a Business Dining Index (BDIndex)—a measurement of current business dining spend as a percentage of 2019 spend during the same time of year—of 88, close to the forecast index of 89. That’s up from 84 in Q2 and nearly three times higher than its lowest point in Q2 2020.

In Q4, the report predicts the BDIndex will rise to 92, eight points shy of a full recovery.

While the BDIndex recovery is largely driven by a rebound in business travel, other factors also are working in the segment’s favor, including business diners being more “inflation-resistant.” Consumers as a whole have reported cutting back on restaurant visits due to record-high inflation. Dinova and Technomic reported last quarter that 41% of consumers were dining out less often, but business diners are “far less price-conscious,” says the report, which has helped sustain business dining spend amid rising prices.

Continued remote and hybrid work also are driving growth in the segment. “With teams remaining dispersed, companies are using offsite meetings and events to build culture and drive employee engagement,” says the report, noting that 65% of meeting and event planners say meeting spend is increasing. Dinova and Technomic predict offsite meetings will exceed pre-COVID numbers next year.

As for Q4, holiday parties and events should continue to boost business dining spend, according to the report.

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