Parties that might have finished their dinner in a little over an hour instead linger for closer to two when they opt for dessert. And they stay the extra thirty minutes while consuming only a fraction of what they did during the first part of the meal. It would be different if people ordered drinks more often alongside cake, but they often don’t. It would change things if dessert wines were more popular, finer, and more expensive, but they aren’t, Cowen said.
From Roberto A. Ferdman at WaPo, there is more here. File under “Oklahoma is different.”
I would add two points. First, the rise of wait-in-line higher quality casual fast food penalizes dessert, because at say a Chipotle people don’t want to wait in line again for dessert. Second, a lot of what is consumed at Starbucks and similar outlets is “dessert in everything but name” and that is proving a more popular and durable model for injecting sweets and cream into the body, perhaps because it does not need to be paired with an expensive meal and furthermore it is ever-present in most parts of the United States.