The History of Eating Out and Why It Breaks Your Budget with Katherine Spiers

Published by Everyone's Talkin' Money podcast
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Oh, man. Have you ever, like I mean, I'm sure you have. You come home and you have to cook something and then you eat it and you're like, this is fine. I guess I'm exhausted. I just think not having to cook at the end of a long day is like, such a privilege and a pleasure. Of course, if you like it.

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Welcome to everyone's talking Money podcast. I'm your host Shannah Game. There's no judgment, no dumb questions, just smart conversations about you and your money. So come on in and grab a seat. Everyone is welcome here. You can learn about investing, saving, traveling, and tips on negotiation on plenty of podcasts. But none of those are like Financial Feminist. Financial Feminists was one of the first to talk about how money affects women differently, without shame or judgment and without shying away from tough conversations about systemic oppression. Host Tori Dunlop weaves equal parts wit with heart alongside hard hitting questions to dig into the deepest topics in finance and feminism, from the essential to the taboo. You'll learn everything about topics like the best retirement accounts to choose how to stop emotionally spending, the recruitment tactics of cults and multilevel marketing schemes, or predatory financial systems like bail bonds to toxic masculinity, diet culture, the secrets of the entertainment industry, and everything in between. Financial Feminists is a space for a new generation of feminists and allies to gain financial education in a shame and judgment free environment. It's also an exploration of the ways that finance and money connect everything we touch and how we create more equitable systems and create more change for the better in our communities. New guest interviews every Tuesday and actionable solo episodes every other Thursday, with plenty of fun, bonus episodes in between. Listen to Financial Feminist wherever you get your podcasts. Want to know what the biggest budget buster is? Almost unanimously. Okay, I need a drum. All for this. It is the money you spend eating out.

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No doubt.

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We all know that January is always.

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A time of year when we're trying to figure out how to do a.

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Lot of things differently, maybe even better. And money, of course, is always at the top of the list. It has been said by many experts that there are only two ways to.

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Better your money situation.

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They are, number one, you got to earn more. Or number two, you got to spend less. Those are both, I find, very easier said than done. But I thought it would be time to dive into this idea of spending less and looking at eating out to understand why do we all love to eat out. And we do it no matter how.

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Loud our bank accounts are yelling at.

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Us to please stop. Our guest on this episode, Catherine Spires, is host of the Smart Mouth podcast, and she is also a food history expert. So Katherine believes the why behind eating out is very simple. It's just we're all plain exhausted. In this super fun episode, we talk about the history of eating out, how car culture led to the fast food.

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Explosion, and how that really revolutionized how.

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Much money you spend eating out, and lots of other fascinating trends in eating out that will give you some seriously good trivia questions to pose at your next dinner party. If you love eating out as much as I honestly do, you will love this episode. Let's start talking.

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Catherine. I am so excited to have you on. Everyone's talking money. Thanks for being here.

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Of course. Thanks for having me back.

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Yeah, we had you as a guest on one of our popular Thanksgiving food episodes a few years ago and so thrilled to have you back talking about a subject we all love eating out. Yes, and I know from working with people for years that eating out is, like, the biggest budget and goal buster. I mean, if we want to figure out where everyone's money goes wrong, we usually look to where we're spending money eating out. We all have this, like, ability to spend money on eating out with just kind of like reckless abandon. I'm sure that's never happened to you, right?

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Of course. Never. I've never been shocked by my credit card bill.

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Well, through my research, I could see that the dining out really originated in France and China long before, obviously, it came to the US. And in a article, it said that, as shown by the history of restaurants in both China and France, you can have restaurants without a large and hungry urban population. So it looks like the first restaurants in the US popped up somewhere in New York City, which makes sense, which is where the urban population was. But there's a lot we don't know to this story. So tell us what you know about how this love of eating out really started for us.

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Well, I will say that, like you said, restaurants as we know them now sort of originated in France and in China, because France and China are sort of like the world's culinary leaders in all ways. But depending on how you define restaurant, and I think in the Pandemic, we kind of expanded our definition because there's ghost kitchens and there's pop ups and there's all that. You could say that restaurants really go back to ancient times. There is record of them written record as far back as ancient Egypt, which means they were, I'm sure, in other places as well. In ancient Greece and Rome, they had snack bars. So is that a restaurant? I don't know. You go outside your house, you pay for preprepared food, maybe you don't get to sit down. But I think it kind of counts as a restaurant, perhaps like that.

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Right. It's like we've kind of come back to how it was many years ago, like redefining eating out.

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Absolutely. Yeah. And for most of human history. Not every house had an oven. So if there was a commercial baker in town, you could actually pay for oven time. Sometimes there were people in your little village who owned an oven and they would charge you could bring your prepared meals over and they would bake them for you. That's kind of restaurant e. And then of course, as you mentioned, like big urban areas. I definitely think that that's sort of the East Asian model. Because in China, going back at least 1500 years, you see record of these amazing restaurants that were just like the end of it. Like you could feast in ways you couldn't feast anywhere else than at these restaurants. And then in Japan in the 1005 hundreds, they invented kaiseki, which is sort of an immersive experience in the modern terminology. It's all about the seasons and art and the right tableware so that's one big center for restaurants or cities. And then also just like traveling, if you're setting out into the unknown, you're going to have to stop and eat somewhere. And so a lot of people there's that whole trope about the people who really made money during the gold rush were the people who owned the hotels and the restaurants and the general stores. Because people who don't have established farms, they got to eat somewhere. Right.

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I mean, this may seem like kind of a silly question to ask. I'm not thinking you use the word dumb. Silly question to ask. Why do you think we all love eating out? What do we get from it?

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Oh, man, have you ever like I mean, I'm sure you have. You come home and you have to cook something and then you eat it and you're like, this is fine. I guess I'm exhausted. I just think not having to cook at the end of a long day is like such a privilege and a pleasure. Of course people like it, right?

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I mean, who wouldn't to have someone else cook some amazing, delicious food for you?

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Okay, so we got that in the US. It really started in New York, which is where most of the population really start, at least on the east coast. When did eating out here in the US. When did it really take off?

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I would say it correlates a lot with car culture because it became easier to go places once you have a car. Right. And I think that you will find everything just developed so quickly post industrial revolution and I think everything in the 20th century, everything exploded, including restaurants.

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Yes, that makes sense. You think about sort of the car culture and people outgoing places and then they've got to stop and eat somewhere. And you think of like Route 66 and people taking these driving trips with their family. And so I would imagine that that really supported like when we got more highways and just routes that really supported restaurants popping up.

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Yeah, that's absolutely right. The highways, and then you have, like, roadside diners and fast food restaurants. It's all part of the same thing, I think.

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So when I was thinking about this conversation we were going to have, it reminded me of the story, which was, I guess, kind of the precipice for having this conversation. And there was this couple that I had worked with a couple of years ago, and they said, hey, we're, like, trying to buy a house, and we've been trying for years and something isn't working. And they lived in Hollywood and what was at the time, a rent controlled building, and they made very good money. Like, between the two of them, I think they made somewhere around, like, $150,000. And so they just was, like, head scratching, couldn't figure out why they weren't.

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Able to save for a house.

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And so they hired me, and I came over and I'm like, okay, do you have a budget? And they're like, yeah, here it is.

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And I'm like, when did you laugh last?

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Look at this. And they're like, oh, I don't know, a few months ago. We haven't really changed anything. Well, they had had a line item for eating out, and they thought they were spending, like, $300 a month, but they told me that they loved treating their friends, like, that was something they were really passionate about. And they would they would go to these restaurants and they would, you know, have have a nice bottle of wine and, like, treat their friends. And so when I did some research behind the scenes, I saw that they were actually spending somewhere between, like, three and $5,000 a month eating out when they thought they were spending 300. And, like, their their, you know, eyes got big and they were just in shock. Like, how was this possible? And I think it's really interesting, specifically around eating out, we talk about our passion for having somebody else cook us something, but when we're talking about money, it does this, like, weird thing where we just have almost, like, selective amnesia. We don't add up how much we've eaten out, and we really let money sabotage so much because, yeah, we don't want to come home and cook food. I just think it's really kind of interesting that that happens to us. I wonder what your thoughts are.

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I think it's because you got to eat, right? So maybe you don't think of it. It doesn't seem like a big purchase. Like, if you have to fix your car or something, you literally have to eat every single day, sometimes more than once. I will say, though, that the difference between thinking you're spending $300 and actually spending three to $5,000. That's astonishing. I am astonished.

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It really was. I mean, I was astonished. I was like, come on.

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You have.

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To know you're spending. And they were just like, no, we thought we were maybe spending a little bit more, but we didn't really have, you know, an idea. And then when they made sort of the shift to go back to, you know, a more reasonable number, within, like, four months, they were able to buy a house because they had that down payment saved. But I think that really goes to the emotions around money, but also the emotions around eating out and going to someplace, especially if you've had a crap day. I think a lot of people love to eat out because it fills you with, I don't know, whatever that sensation you get from food is.

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Yeah. And I don't know if there's any way to quantify it, but I do feel like in North America, we don't think about dining out as much. I feel like in other countries, it tends to be more intentional, whereas I think it tends, maybe especially in urban areas, to just be like you don't really think about the difference between eating in a restaurant versus eating at home. I don't know. You don't make a big deal out of going out to dinner. It's an everyday occurrence.

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Yeah. I'm also wondering how did the culture around I don't know if you know the history behind this, but I'm wondering if this has sort of shaped the eating out culture here in the US. Like when we had the TV trade dinner kind of concept come into play. And I can remember as a little kid probably dating myself here, but where we had some of those, I mean, they were not very tasty at all, but they were like the kind of in between of going out to dinner and somebody in the house cooking dinner. I wonder how those sort of trends over the years have shaped restaurants and kind of our overall thoughts on eating out.

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Interesting. I don't know. But I do know that one thing I always go on about is how I think home economics should be brought back to schools. Because I think that there genuinely are a lot of people who don't really know how to cook. And it's exhausting and it's terrifying if you've never done it before. So I can understand, too, why people would rely, like, time and exhaustion from work aside would rely on frozen foods and that sort of thing.

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Yeah, for sure. So are there any other kind of times throughout our last history where you've really seen kind of eating out evolve over the years? I mean, we obviously just went through the pandemic and saw eating out evolve a lot. But have there been any other periods of time where this really kind of changed culture?

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You can think about overall trends, and there's so many to choose from. I mean, one of them, we kind of touched on this a little bit, but would be fast food, which I don't think is like I actually think we have it backwards. I don't think it's that Americans started to become addicted to fast foods. I think it's that urban planning made it easier to get around in a car than on foot. And the restaurants capitalized on that by instituting drive throughs. And I think also people are working at least nine hour days. Again, this all comes back to exhaustion. It's just like that keeps coming up. The easiest thing I can do is not get out of my car. And so that's what they're going to do. So I think that that has had a lot of influence on the way Americans eat and then sort of in line with city planning, but like a little bit of just a corollary to it is when more and more people immigrate to the United States over time, and they bring their food with them. And Americans have become more sophisticated about other foods. And I know what the stereotypes are about United States citizens, but I actually think we have a greater knowledge and appreciation for the world of cuisine than in a lot of other places. We're lucky to have exposure to a lot of the world's food.

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Do you know, is there a specific kind of food that we love to eat out the most or does that just totally differ depending on where you live?

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I've actually looked into this multiple times and I'm really frustrated by the way the research is done on this because the way it's always broken down is like by fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants.

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Casual restaurants.

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That is not that interesting of a differentiation. Also, I don't think it's telling us how people would prefer to eat. All things being equal. I think it's that most restaurants in the United States are fast casual. Obviously. I think a much more interesting way of looking at it would be like, which country's cuisine do we like eating the best? But I haven't seen any research, large scale research that goes in any deeper than Mexican versus Italian, which is just so everyone likes Mexican and Italian. I don't need to know about that.

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Who doesn't? Yes. Can you pinpoint in your personal history what has been like you would quantify as the most amazing meal out you've ever had?

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Oh, my goodness. Well, given my work, I've been really lucky to have a lot of most amazing meals and they've really run the gamut. Sometimes a new, flashy, expensive, fully subsidized by investors restaurant will come out and the food is something you've never seen before and that's always very cool. But then also, especially living in Los Angeles, where we've got the San Gabriel Valley, which is famous for its Chinese and Vietnamese food, I can go to a restaurant that has the Chinese food of a certain region and I've never experienced it before. And I'm literally eating something I've never eaten before or like a seasoning mixture I've never experienced before. So if you want to put the time and effort into it, you can have so many amazing dining experiences just by, like, checking out everything that's out there. And of course, that means that you have the time to do it and you have a car and you have the money to do it. And also, it's easier said than done, but it is something that people can do.

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Yeah, I like that a lot. And I've certainly over the last, I don't know, ten plus years, married my husband, and I've sort of reimagined eating out like I used to want to go to maybe what you would classify as like, a fancier restaurant. I thought, okay, that's the experience of going out. But now my favorite places are, like, the small mom and pops that I could have, like, a burger, like a really good burger, every single night of my life.

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Yeah, me too.

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And I just find more joy, I think, in going to smaller places where maybe they specialize in, like, one dish or something like that. For me, it just feels like if I'm going to spend my money on eating out, I want it to be, like, a really good experience. I'm sure you've had those times where you've gone out to eat and you've spent a lot of money and you're like, I mean, I could have just eaten at home. I really didn't need to do this.

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Yeah, exactly. And of course, people are looking for different things when they go to restaurants. Some people are less interested in the food and more interested in, like, gorgeous ambience or gracious service or something like that. There's lots of different things you can look for in your dining out experience.

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Yeah, I wanted to go back to a little bit of the fast food culture. I was doing some research, and I was really amazed that the first fast food restaurant was actually in 1921, and it was White Castle. And I went to school college in Indiana, indiana University, and I never set foot in a White Castle. And I would tell you, not that there's anything wrong with it, but there were a lot of stories of people eating White Castle and maybe having to sit on a toilet for an extended period of time. And so I thought, that's probably not the experience I want to have. So I found it so fascinating that that was the first fast food restaurant. But I also think it's it's really interesting. There was an article I found in the Smithsonian. It says that there's this emotional component to which we like fast food to be indulgent, a treat, a kind of unhealthy guilty pleasure. And so when I think back to money, like, our food system really comes back to money. We create this, like, cheap food so everybody can afford it, but it isn't great for our bodies. Then we have these expensive medical conditions, like diabetes that are on the rise, but it still doesn't stop our love from fast food. How do you think fast food where do you think it fits in the equation of eating out? Is it just that it's so convenient?

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I guess, again, I feel like it's convenient because of the way that American culture has been set up. I mean, like, the actual physical part of it with the civic planning. But I also think that they didn't make fast food cheap so that everybody could enjoy it. I think they made it cheap so that everybody would eat it. We've all seen these reports about how it can actually be less expensive to get fast food than to go grocery shopping. And I think that's by design, in the same way that they hired the world's best scientists at these fast food restaurants to make sure that the food tastes delicious. That's why anytime someone says, the McDonald's taste gross, I'm like, I don't believe you. They have spent billions making sure that it is delicious. There's plenty of reasons not to eat it, but it's not that it doesn't taste good. So, yeah, the food science and the car culture and everything, it's really hard to get away from eating fast food. I don't think it should be considered a guilty pleasure just because I think there's very few things on this planet that are pleasures that we need to feel guilty about. Sometimes it can be the only option. For instance, late at night, and even if you're not partying, maybe you work the swing shift. That's the only thing that's going to be open. There's a lot of reasons why people don't stop eating fast food, which hence.

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Comes back to exhaustion again.

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Yeah, that's like it's such a through line in American culture.

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I don't know if you've done any research, but do other countries have as big of a fast food culture as we do here in the US.

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Yeah, not every country. And in some countries still, I don't know if this is just like food people know, but when McDonald's expanded into Europe, it was actually very expensive in Europe relative to other restaurants. I think that's less true now. The prices have somewhat evened out. But I do think that people I think I already said this, but they're more intentional in other countries about going out. I think about how in Japan, it's a big cultural thing to buy a bucket of KFC on Christmas. That's purposeful they're like, okay, this is the tradition that we are going to do. Something I think about a lot is Korean barbecue, because I've heard so many people in America say, I can't believe Koreans eat like this every day, but they don't. Going out to barbecue is a big deal, and it should be. This is like such an indulgence. And I think it says something about Americans that so many of them think that this is how Koreans eat every day in Korea. No, I think that in other countries, people go out to restaurants because they specifically want a specific dish or something like that.

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Yeah, it kind of shows our lack of understanding or empathy for their culture.

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Yeah, that's true. And also forgetting that everything is so easy to obtain in the United States. And then, of course, you can sabotage yourself, like your example of the people who are spending $3,000 a month going out to eat, but think about how easy it is to do that. That's crazy.

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Yeah, it is crazy. I can remember being a kid, and there were specific nights of the week when it was like, okay, we're going to go eat out and we have our regular restaurants. I mean, there wasn't as many choices. And a kid grew up for about seven years in Houston, Texas, and there wasn't that many places that you can choose from. And some of them were obviously chain restaurants. I think back then they had a little bit better quality of food, but I can remember the conversation being around, we're going to eat out, and always having this build up that was kind of like a special occasion. That was something that we didn't do all the time. So I like hearing that other countries and cultures kind of have that same sort of approach to eating out. And I wonder if we brought that more into our own lives that that might change our relationship a little bit with eating out and maybe have it feel more like a special moment.

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Yeah, absolutely. But I think that so many things would have to change. In a lot of other countries, existing is less expensive, so the restaurants maybe are more expensive, but that's okay because your rent isn't taking 70% of your paycheck. So it's a structural problem that almost has nothing to do with the restaurants itself. It's about the entire culture.

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I love when the onion starts to get digging down. That's when it starts to get really juicy and exciting for me, because you're absolutely right. If we're going to look at that stack of bricks, we have to really kind of get down to the bottom and figure out what's really going on. And I want to talk a little bit about yourself. You cover so many amazing topics on your podcast, smart Mouth and everything from where do we think alpastor comes from? I love this one. Mayo and menstruation. So tell me a little bit about your podcast. How this evolved and what gets you so excited to talk about food and food history in this way.

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Yeah, I've always been a food writer, but I've always been more interested in sort of a story behind the plate than the actual taste of the food on the plate. I like the why. Why do people eat what they eat? So smartmouth is a great way to do that because I have a guest and I ask what their favorite food is, and then we talk about the history of that food. And you get to be nosy about an individual's life and past and then also learn a lot of cultural information through food. I think that you could easily argue that food informs culture, culture informs food. They are intertwined. So it's actually like a much bigger picture. And then with the Smart Mouth newsletter, where I have contributors writing, I have people from all over the world so they are able to tell stories that I don't have the kind of access to, I would never have known about in France. Running through cabbage fields while you're on your period, that's not something that they talk about in the guidebooks.

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They should.

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I agree.

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Do you have, like, a favorite episode?

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Oh, boy, yes. One in particular. I don't know. I really like the episode about spam that I did with Helen Hong, who is on weight. Weight. Don't tell me a lot because the history of spam and why so many Pacific Islanders eat it and East Asian people, it has to do with the war industry. This is the thing. I was already pretty liberal to begin with. The show has made me even more progressive because finding out that the way we eat is actually due to military inventions was very. Eye opening.

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Wow. Yeah. That is crazy. I wouldn't have thought that, but it's actually not very surprising.

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Yeah, exactly. They invent products that soldiers can use out on the field, and then they have the factory set up, and they have the technology already in place. So it's like, well, we need to keep selling this cheese powder. So they invent products that you put cheese powder on. It all makes sense. I always worry that I sound a little unhandished when I talk about this stuff, but I promise it's true.

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I can think of a lot of things that we put cheese powder on.

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Some of them exactly.

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Very delicious.

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Is there any food or cuisine that you actually don't like to eat?

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Oh, my goodness. I have a very sensitive palate, so I have a hard time with spicy food. Although as you age, your taste buds die, so it's getting easier for me every year.

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(1807172) )}

You're like, all right, I can buy more advice.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1809946) )}

Exactly. And I really don't like olives, so that I have experienced the hardest for me is Greek. Yes. But that doesn't mean I don't like the food. It's just like, please keep olives away from me.

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(1824070) )}

I fully understand. I think it's always interesting how interesting it is to talk about what you don't like to eat. Do you have a favorite splurge that you love to eat out?

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1837690) )}

I don't know, because the types of restaurants I actually enjoy the most right now are less expensive. But I have noticed that ice cream is extremely expensive these days, and I don't think that's wrong. I think that if they're using good ingredients, it should be extremely expensive. But when you go and you get, like, a scoop of ice cream for $6, it's a little bit like, woof. Why am I doing that?

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(1860690) )}

Yeah, it's one of those where you're just like, don't think, don't look at the price. You deserve it. Get the ice cream.

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{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(1870648) )}

It's funny, I talk about always building reward into your monthly spending plan, and I always use the example of ice cream, like, treat yourself to, you know, a scoop of ice cream, like something I would say, like, we said, our splurge about $25 or less. Like, go spend on something like that. So that's a great example.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1892830) )}

Yeah, and I think that's so smart, because when you deny yourself everything, I mean, that's when people really freak out and go on vendors. Right. You have to have a little bit of fun in your life.

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(1902288) )}

Yes, I totally agree. Well, I'm just curious, with the pandemic and everything we've been through the last couple of years, have restaurants really come back from the pandemic, or did that time period really reshape? Kind of, I guess, what the history is going to be around eating out?

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1923288) )}

Well, owning a restaurant is a really iffy proposition in the best of times, so I don't think any work has been done yet. About restaurants during the pandemic, but, you know, a ton closed, a ton opened, too, and there's something like 60% failure rate for restaurants within the first three years, et cetera. So there's constant turnover in restaurants at any point. Everyone has different theories about how restaurant going is going to be going forward. But I kind of have been thinking a lot more people are working from home, and they're going to keep it that way. And I wonder if things will switch where instead of being like, oh, my God, I want to get home, I don't want to look at anyone. I've been with my coworkers for 9 hours. If you're going to be like, I've been alone all day, I would like to go see other humans. So maybe people go to restaurants more. Who knows?

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(1975006) )}

Yeah. So kind of like, along those lines. Is that what you think the future is going to look like since yeah, we are sort of in this work from home phase.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1987450) )}

I think it could like I said, there's people who are like, well, all restaurants are closing. Nothing will survive. Everything good is going away. I don't I don't know, because there's so many you know, there's so many different experiences in the United States. It's not a monolithic culture, so everyone's going to do something different. I don't know. I'm scared about the economy. I guess if we're all broke, all restaurants will close down, but I don't know if fingers crossed, that won't happen.

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(2012724) )}

Yeah, let's do some serious finger crossing.

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{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(2018390) )}

Well, I think that if we look back at the history of eating out, what we can see is that no matter sort of what's been going on with the economy, people are still figuring out some way to go eat out and like to have that that little tiny slice of of heaven, if you will, eating whatever they think is delicious.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(2041130) )}

Yeah, and that's another thing, too. When you go out, you don't have to get a three course meal along the lines of the ice cream example. You can go to a more upscale restaurant and just order two appetizers, say. I mean, there are all those tips and tricks if you want to save some dollars while you are still enjoying yourself and living your life because you only have one of it.

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{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(2062772) )}

There was a time when Jeff and I were first married. I think it was when we were first married, and we used to go to all the happy hours and order off the happy hour menu. And I think there was a point in time where we decided, like, okay, maybe we should switch things up from going to happy hours, but we were like, this is a way for us to go to a restaurant that we want to go to, but not have to pay, like, $30 a dish. Or I guess the risk that maybe it wasn't as tasty, but I think the happy hour really died in the pandemic. And I'm quite sad because it was a great way to experience a restaurant without having to have a ton of cash.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(2107684) )}

Yeah. And there's also the chance that something will happen with restaurants that has never happened before and that we can't even predict because this happens in all sectors. Right. Like 15 years ago, you wouldn't have expected that people would care about what Twitter was doing, what was going on on Twitter. I don't know. There's probably a restaurant equivalent to that. In a way. We're almost going back to olden times in Los Angeles, at least, people started doing interesting things like selling bagels out of their apartment and they live on the second floor and you'd ring a bell and then they'd send a basket down from their window. That's so old school. But it's happening in 2020, too. Nice.

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{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(2150016) )}

I like that. This is sort of cyclical and people kind of come back to the oldies but goodies. That actually worked because it just comes down right to how good and tasty is the food, no matter sort of what the mechanism is for you to actually get the food.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(2166388) )}

Yeah, absolutely. And it can be a little fun. It feels like a little adventure if you're going and showing up in an alleyway and then a basket of food comes down. Right. Cute. Fun. I like that.

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(2177960) )}

Yeah. Well, I'm wondering if there are any I don't know if you have your finger on this pulse, but I wonder if there are any food trends that you think in 2023 are going to be kind of on the rise. Like people are going to be eating more of this certain food or in this type of restaurant?

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(2197046) )}

Oh, boy, that's such a good question. I think people are going to try everything. There's some things that I don't think will ever work because people have been trying too long. Marijuana and even psychedelics are becoming more and more legalized across the country, and so there's more businesses having to do with them. People are always trying to open up restaurants that specialize in cannabis infused food. Not happening. I just don't think it's happening. People have been trying to do it in La for 15 years, and if it's not going to work here, it's not going to work anywhere else. That's one very specific example. But in terms of bigger picture, yeah, I think it's actually still a perfect time for experimentation, and so we're going to see a lot of that. And I think from a consumer point of view, that's always fun.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(2245856) )}

I love when Catherine shared that she believes that food informs culture and culture informs food. I think it's really interesting to think.

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(2255252) )}

About it that way.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(2256132) )}

It's such a cool topic, eating out, and hopefully you learned some really good.

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(2261748) )}

Information in this conversation. And if anything, it just inspired you to maybe take a look at how.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(2269592) )}

Much money you spent eating out last month. It's always a huge eye opener, this number. It might surprise you, just like the people I talked about in this episode. But if anything, it just brings this.

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(2282076) )}

Awareness to how you're spending your money.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(2284876) )}

And maybe even if you look at.

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That number and you're like, oh my gosh, I can't believe I spent that much money eating out.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(2291984) )}

Maybe it might also lead you to think about what are the motivating factors when you decide to eat out or maybe you decide to spend a little bit more money than you thought you should that month. How are you feeling? How are you feeling about your life? How are you feeling about money? Starting to notice those things that are.

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(2309044) )}

Going on in your life and your.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(2311252) )}

Relationship with money and your thoughts and your feelings. That's a really good way to start making some changes, but only if you want to, right? Because I encourage you to eat out. You got to have some fun in life, but just maybe do it with a few little boundaries. Like challenge yourself, see what you can do and see how you can maybe reroute a little bit of your money, just a small fraction of the money you spend eating out towards another goal. I did this challenge last year where I cut our eating out expense each month by just about five to 7% each month. And I put that extra money in savings account and I didn't touch it until the end of the year. And the end of the year when I came in the account, I was like, oh my gosh, I can't believe how much money is in there.

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(2358788) )}

So we got to do something fun with the money. And it was just a little bit.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(2362148) )}

Of a fun exercise, but just a reminder to also keep money fun and interesting for yourself, right?

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Because you're going to be in this.

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Long term relationship with your money, so you might as well have a little fun along the way. If you want to connect with Catherine and learn a lot more about food and food history, you can go to where you can find all her podcast, episodes and newsletters. And if you're specifically looking for some great eating out tips in Los Angeles, catherine just launched, so be sure to check that out if you enjoyed this episode. I mean, who doesn't love talking about eating out, right? Share it with some friends or family members. Spread the word of the show. It's one of the best ways that we get this show to continue to grow. And if you love this episode, go over to Apple podcast.

{( speakerName('C') )} {( convertTime(2411162) )}

There's a link right in the show.

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Notes and leave a review for this show. As always, you can head to the show notes for all the links to our episode guests, as well as sponsors who make this show possible. I'll see you back here in a few days for a brand new episode.