Recent social changes in the country of Spiessa lead the author to predict a continued surge in growth of that countrys restaurant industry. Rising personal incomes, additional leisure time, an increase in single-person households, and greater interest in gourmet food are cited as the main reasons for this optimistic outlook. All of these factors are indeed relevant to growth in the restaurant industry; so the prediction appears reasonable on its face. However, three questionable assumptions operative in this argument bear close examination.
The first dubious assumption is that the supply of restaurants in Spiessa will continue to grow at the same rate as in the recent past. However, even in the most favorable conditions and the best of economic times there are just so many restaurants that a given population can accommodate and sustain. It is possible that the demand for restaurants has already been met by the unprecedented growth of the past decade, in which case the recent social changes will have little impact on the growth of the restaurant industry.
A second assumption is that the economic and social circumstances cited by the author will actually result in more people eating out at restaurants. This assumption is unwarranted, however. For example, increased leisure time may just as likely result in more people spending more time cooking gourmet meals in their own homes. Also, single people may actually be more likely than married people to eat at home than to go out for meals. Finally, people may choose to spend their additional income in other wayson expensive cars, travel, or larger homes.