Eating out more? That's because the economy is doing well, expert says

New York City restaurants brought in $22 billion last year, but these sales—which FOX Business’ Stuart Varney called “astonishing”—are not unique to America’s largest city.

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“I’m not surprised,” former CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder said of the annual restaurant bill report, arguing 3 percent GDP growth and the booming American economy are leading to more and more people eating out.

Restaurants tend to rise and fall with the overall economy.

“Unless you’ve got something really unique, it’s hard to increase your sales when the economy’s down,” Puzder said.

But, they are benefiting from an economy that's currently growing.

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From 2010 to 2019, sales in the nation’s restaurant industry have grown by over 46 percent (from $590 billion to a projected $863 billion), according to the National Restaurant Association.

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“New York benefits, I think, more than other places because there are so many restaurants, [and] people are so used to eating out,” Puzder said on “Varney & Co.”

In addition to residents, the scores of tourists will want to sample the variety of restaurants the city has to offer as part of their experience.

Americans, however, do not just eat out in New York. Across the country, 90 percent of people enjoy going out to eat, and the industry is expected to make up roughly 4 percent of the economy by the end of the year, the National Restaurant Association states.

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At the same time, online food delivery is on the rise, increasingly, consumers prefer to have restaurant-prepared food delivered right to their door.

“You have to have it to stay in the game,” Puzder said of the delivery option.

Due to consumer preference, restaurants will lose sales if they are not taking part in this segment of the industry, he argued.

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