Survey: We still like eating out, but the price has to be right

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Belt-tightening Brits are looking for a bargain when it comes to eating out, according to research from Birmingham Food Fest.

Even though two thirds (66 per cent) of people still eat out between one and four times per week, they are watching the pounds – nearly three quarters (73 per cent) spend no more than £20 per head when eating out.

With increasing numbers of restaurants offering vouchers and money-saving deals, the survey of 2,000 UK adults has found that more than a third of respondents are sniffing out a bargain to ensure they can still dine out.

Indeed, cost was the biggest barrier to eating out – turning off nearly three quarters of respondents.

While discounts and offers have become more popular, table manners seem to be on the decline.

One in five respondents said that other diners put them off eating out – even though a quarter enjoyed dining out because it was more sociable than being at home.

The Food Fest’s Emma Gray said: “Because people really enjoy eating out, they are looking for ways to do it without breaking the bank.

“Savvy diners are doing their research and taking advantage of offers and discounts to enjoy top quality meals at a bargain price.”

People in the South-East are the UK’s biggest spenders, with one in five likely to spend between £26 and £30 a head on eating out –while only two per cent of their neighbours in the thrifty South-West, were happy to part with that figure.

The survey also showed that the ‘Come Dine With Me’ factor still influences diners; nearly two thirds have attended up to 12 dinner parties in the last year.

This was most popular in the South-East, where 15 per cent of people said they held or attended between 13 and 15 dinner parties a year, while people in the North-East were least likely to entertain, with 47 per cent saying they have never attended or held a dinner party in the past year.