Consumers in the US said they planned to pay about 5% less in restaurants in 2012 compared with last year, in part because of promotions and dining deals, according to a new report by AlixPartners. The study found that the majority of consumers were cutting back on dining out for financial reasons, with desire for value and convenience playing the most significant part into their dining-out decisions. AlixPartners said that the average amount spent per meal is expected to drop to $13.30 this year, compared with $14 in 2011. However, it said that pricing, will become more sophisticated, with many chains using tiered strategies, varying prices by region or based on consumer demographics, and raising prices only on select or non-core items. Adam Werner, managing director and co-leader of the restaurant and foodservice practice for AlixPartners, said: “The industry most certainly is rebounding, but slowly. Companies are going to have to become more defensive. It’s more of a share game. In order for me to grow, I have to steal from you. “Discounting is here to stay and restaurant chains will continue to use bundled meals to convey value.”