Local discovery engine LivingSocial UK & IE has released its 2015 report into local restaurants across the UK and Ireland. Questioning diners across 16 cities on a range of topics from restaurant choice and alcohol consumption, to tipping and average spend, the report offers in-depth insight into diners’ attitudes and behaviours.
Key findings include the average price diners expect to pay for a restaurant main course is £12.04, the nation’s average tip is just 5.5% of the bill and the availability of deals and offers is more important than reviews when it comes to choosing a restaurant.
Prices diners are willing to pay vary from cuisine to cuisine, with people willing to shell out most for seafood, followed by French dining, while Vietnamese was what diners are least willing to spend on.
Price ranks as the most important factor when picking restaurants, with 70.5% of diners saying it influences their decision, followed by personal recommendations (41.8%), availability of deals or offers (41.4%) and the ability to book a table over the phone (40.3%). One in five favour the ability to book online or via a mobile app. Diners in Leeds (43.4%) read the most reviews, while those in Nottingham (58.1%) make the most of discounts.
Diners rely on a variety of factors when deciding whether, and how much, to tip. The report suggests friendly service (66.7%) eclipses food quality (63%) in importance, and one in twenty diners say that they tip regardless of their dining experience.
The common perception that a 10% tip is the norm is dispelled by the report – the national average is actually 5.5%. Diners in Edinburgh are the most generous towards restaurant staff but still only tend to add 8.8% to the bill, almost double those in Nottingham (4.5%).
The report also reveals attitudes towards drinking alcohol in restaurants. 50.9% of men drink alcohol always or most of the time, compared to just 39.5% of women. Restaurant-goers in Belfast (61.1%) are most likely to opt for an alcoholic beverage, with people in Southampton (25.7%) drinking the least.
When it comes to our favourite foods, Indian (21.2%) and Chinese (20.8%) meals out are the most popular, while traditional British cuisine2 ranked third, with 18.5% noting it as their favourite. Analysing the gender split revealed that Italian is more popular with women (21.3%), while British meals are more popular with men (21.7%).
While the cuisines above are readily available throughout the UK and Ireland, the report reveals that the restaurants diners consider to be lacking are Brazilian (45.1%), Vietnamese (44%) and Caribbean (42%). Edinburgh, Leeds and Sheffield showed a strong demand for Greek eateries, while in the south, in Cardiff, Bristol, Southampton and London, demand is high for Japanese cuisine.