FOSTER CITY, CA -- A Visa survey found that Americans go out for lunch an average of nearly twice a week and spend $10 per outing. That works out to an average of $18 a week or $936 per year. Men reportedly outspend women at the lunch counter by 44% and are more likely to dine out for the midday meal. Of those who eat lunch out, women spend an average of just under $15 a week and men spend about $21, according to the Visa survey.
Only 1% of people surveyed spend more than $50 a lunch. On the other end of spectrum, 30% of respondents said that they don't buy lunch out at all.
Respondents who said they make less than $25,000 a year reportedly spend more per meal, at $11.70, than those in any other income bracket. In contrast, those earning more than $50,000 a year spend an average of $9.60 on each lunch meal, a difference of 22%.
There are some notable regional disparities among those who eat lunch out, according to the Visa survey. Southerners lead the country in weekly spending. The average Southerner eats out twice a week, spending $10 each time.
Westerners mirror the national average, spending $10 per lunch 1.8 times a week. Midwesterners go out for lunch 1.7 times a week and spend only $8.90 on each occasion.
Northeasterners eat their lunches out the least often, but splurge the most when they do. In the Northeast respondents said they only eat out 1.5 times a week, spending 14% more per meal than the national average at $11.40 for a weekly total of $17.10.