Romantic meals with your loved ones in swanky restaurants or casual lunches down the pub with your best friend ... eating out is one of life’s great pleasures.
A study into the nation’s eating habits has revealed that 50 million Brits dine out every year and of those, three-quarters of them eat out at least once a month.
Half of young families and couples enjoy meals out once a month on average.
Overall, British fare is the top choice on the menu and a particular favourite with males. Women with young families favour Chinese meals when dining out.
Runner-up in the menu of the nation’s favourite food is Italian, particularly among the under-35s who rate it as their top choice.
Retired people will pick French and Spanish dishes above anything else.
Diners who are 18 and over and still living at home with their parents choose Indian.
Regional variations in the nation’s eating habits show that Italian is in demand in the north-east of England, Thai in the south and Chinese in Scotland.
In Britain there are 2.4 billion eating out occasions every year, with birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day giving families the ideal opportunities to celebrate in their favourite eateries.
Bank holiday weekends are the most popular times for eating out and Saturday is favourite day to leave home for a meal.
The survey suggests that restaurants should be capitalising on Sunday for dining out, claiming that they can recoup £4 out of every £10 that customers spend there in comparison with £2.30 for the rest of the week.
The reason for that lucrative boost to restaurant takings could be that the retail industry closes early on a Sunday or that some family attractions may not be open.
The survey among 2,085 people forms the basis of the Restaurants Insights 2020 report compiled by Paymentsense, which helps small businesses take card payments.
In a separate report by food and drink research company CGA Insights, it is suggested that the average British consumer goes out to eat 63 times a year. Customers spend £22.50 on food and drink during a date, the findings show.