Kitchenless Homes: A Cook’s Dystopian Future

Realtors will tell you that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. What happens if there is no kitchen?  Investment bank UBS recently issued an investment note to customers titled, “The End of the Kitchen?” Not being a UBS-caliber customer, I’ve only been able to glean snippets from the private report from across the internet.

In a nutshell, UBS is taking note of the fast rise in food delivery services like Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and yet to enter the US, Deliveroo and Foodora. The report postulates what happens to the food distribution and preparation market as food delivery grows in popularity. It’s all part of the larger trend of people outsourcing tedious tasks to those willing to do them for pennies.

Over the course of decades, the amount of money spend dining out had grown to roughly 50 percent by 2014 (newest USDA data). Compare that with just 16 percent in 1929 and doubling to just above 30 percent by the 1960s. The only real reduction in the incidence of eating outcomes during recessions when eating out is viewed as more luxury.

Of course, there’s a generational component at work as well. Millennials eat roughly a third of meals at home compared to 41 percent of Boomers. Millennials also eat about a third more meals in restaurants and bars than Boomers and about half as many more as Generation X. Consequently, Millennials spend on average 88 minutes per week on food preparation, presentation and cleanup compared with 143 minutes for Generation X and 136 minutes for Boomers. You’d think this might be because Millennials are working more hours than their older peers, but you’d be wrong. Generation X worked 25 percent more hours and Boomers, over 50 percent more. UBS says Millennials are 3x more likely to order prepared meals than their parents (Boomers).

We have more on the potential trend on