Mom, What’s for Dinner?

The mommy wars between the stay-at-home moms (or “helicopter parents”) and the working moms (or “neglectors”) may continue apace.

But the tide seems to be turning: For the first time since the 1950s, the percentage of women opting out of the work force to stay home with their families (and immolating their careers on the pyre of motherhood) is rising. According to Advertising Age, this could have a “profound” impact on the restaurant industry.

As women joined the work force over the years, they had more disposable income and less time, so eating out became more common:

Nothing captured the power of women joining the work force for the restaurant industry like McDonald’s 1971 ad campaign ‘You deserve a break today,’ said Harry Balzer, VP of NPD Group and longtime chronicler of the nation’s eating habits.

But now, restaurants could feel the pinch, especially since recent growth for them has been in takeout, and supermarkets like Whole Foods have been chipping (and in some cases, gouging) away at that market. In addition, packaged-food giants like Campbell’s and Kraft are seeing an opportunity to snatch back some ground they’ve lost over the years to casual-dining restaurants.

So support your local dining scene. The favorite restaurant you save could be your own.