People who eat out in the US are cutting back on restaurant spending because of the economy, it was revealed today. New research by market analyst Mintel found that more than 54% of people who eat out regularly were trying to cut the cost. It also found that 70% of the people who were trying to cut back on their spending were doing so by eating more at home. David Morris, senior analyst with Mintel, said: “People aren't just trading down for cheaper or lower quality food, they're just trading out. When you consider the price of casual and fine dining, staying in can reduce costs significantly.” The survey, conducted in January, also found that three quarters of those polled were still eating once a week and of those who dine out regularly had visited a restaurant 2.3 times in the past seven days. “As people try to curb their spending, restaurants have to focus more on price and convenience to draw them in,” added Morris. “The recession is taking a toll, but certain innovations can help restaurants succeed. By highlighting cost savings, all restaurants can maintain steady business.” However analysts closer to home do not think that UK restaurants are at the same stage as their US counterparts just yet. Simon French, an analyst at investment bank UBS, told M&C Report: “It's quite hard to suggest to what degree the UK restaurant market will suffer. “I think, realistically, we won't see a dramatic drop until we see a rise in unemployment. But having said that it is pretty tough out there and there is survey evidence out to suggest that people are suffering due to rising costs. “This has led to a softening in the market. The problem is that these things can become cyclical. “Rising costs mean restaurants put their prices up. This in turn leads to a softening in the market and because of that restaurants have to put prices up further. But quoted companies in the UK are not at that stage yet because of the power of bulk buying and long term contracts. It is more of an issue for individual restaurants. “If the quoted companies start to experience a downturn then we could see people eating out less.”