In addition to being relatively low-cost, these types of dates also have the added advantage of being easy to end naturally and without the, potentially awkward, requirement of waiting for a check.
Alternatively, if you “click,” you can easily extend the date by finding an easy option for a meal or other activity.
The dating apps are largely for people who are looking for short-term hookups.
Some people do find long-term mates via dating apps, but there are lots of people on those sites who are primarily interested in short-term sexual liaisons.
Likewise, some cities are noted for having a relatively larger percentage of single people.
I think they would be an economic gain as they may have more disposable income, since they are not in a family situation.
Should local authorities work to make cities more attractive to singles? Attracting singles could potentially revitalize/stimulate a city's economy.
When looking at an online profile, look for those shared activities that both you and your date enjoy, that may not cost much but allow for interaction and conversation.
Even if you find out you are not compatible, at least you will have spent the time doing something you enjoy.