The Wall Street Journal: From 1948 to 1999, the percentage of women in the work force climbed from 32.7 percent to 60 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, since 1999, that five-decade increase has leveled off, with the percentage of women in the work force down slightly at 59.2 percent as of January. The result is less money in the family budget.

Indeed, the number of restaurant visits that Americans make annually has flattened out, and consumers have increased the number of meals they make at home. Last year, 207 restaurant meals were purchased per person, down from a peak of 211 in 2001, according to NPD Group.

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