Malaysians are a fortunate lot when it comes to food. Food is readily available, especially in towns and cities. There are hawker stalls along streets, restaurants, and food courts where a great variety of delicious food is sold. People have the choice of eating out or cooking their meals at home. Three factors that affect the choice of eating out and eating at home are cost, convenience, and quality.
In terms of cost, eating out is usually more expensive than cooking at home. For example, buying the ingredients to cook a plate of fried noodles may cost less than half the price of a plate of fried noodles at a restaurant. Restaurants and food stalls need to make a profit. Therefore, they have to charge more than the actual cost of the food they serve.
The second factor that people consider when deciding to eat out or not is convenience. Having someone cook for you, serve you, and clean up after you, definitely makes eating out more convenient than eating at home. This is one of the main reasons why people opt to eat out. It saves them the trouble of having to shop for the ingredients, doing the actual cooking, and washing up afterward. Preparing a meal is also time-consuming. So it is no wonder that busy people prefer to eat out most of the time.
Quality is the third thing to consider when choosing between home-cooked food and outside food. Naturally, food prepared at home uses better quality ingredients and is more hygienic generally. In contrast, food served at stalls and restaurants is often not prepared with such good quality ingredients as this would reduce their profit margins. Very often, flavor enhancers are also added to food along with too much oil and salt, which are not good for health.
In a nutshell, eating out is more convenient while eating at home is less costly and much healthier. Making the choice is really not that hard as it just depends on what is most important to you. If you dislike cooking, eating out is the solution. If you do not want to spend so much on food, then cooking your own meals is the better choice. Finally, if health is your most important concern, it would be better to eat at home.