It’s the Best (And Worst) of Times for American Restaurants

“The golden age of restaurants is a bit like today’s golden age of TV. For television viewers, there have never been more options or, perhaps, better quality programming. But as the number of original scripted shows has soared, so has the failure rate. A new drama is now four to five times more likely to be cancelled today than it was in the late 1990s.”

For the first time in history, Americans spend more money eating out than they do on groceries and there’s more selection and quality in restaurants than ever before. But simultaneously, last year was described as the worst restaurant year since the recession.

The Atlantic explores this paradox of American restaurants and explains how the boom in restaurants may actually be hurting the industry, how the middle class of restaurants is particularly struggling, and how take-out is taking over.