OpenTable has unveiled the extent of missed celebrations which were meant to take place in restaurants around the UK during the pandemic.
Covid-19 has meant a third of Brits have unfortunately missed out on dining out for a special occasion. Nearly half of missed celebrations (44%) were birthday meal plans and 1 in 5 were Christmas restaurant reservations.
After this disappointment, 1 in 3 (34%) say they now value eating out to celebrate more than before the pandemic, and slightly over half (51%) value eating with their friends and family more.
Lockdown has also meant that 35% of the UK has had enough of meal prep as they value being cooked and served a meal more than they did before the Covid-19 outbreak.
For Brits, when choosing where to dine out for a celebration, having a variety of food options tops the list at 52%, followed by dining somewhere local (42%). As well as staying local, it seems Brits are creatures of habit, with only 1 in 5 looking for somewhere new to try when choosing a restaurant for a celebration.
After 28% of adult Brits had to cancel restaurant reservations to celebrate special occasions due to the pandemic at least once, only half of these have been rebooked for another time, and nearly a third (29%) still plan to reschedule.
The easing of all lockdown restrictions now means 81% of Brits feel comfortable dining at restaurants outdoors, with 70% feeling comfortable dining indoors.
Lucy Taylor, VP for EMEA, OpenTable, commented, “Our data shows just how much people have missed out on in the past year and a half.
“With restrictions lifted and restaurants welcoming back guests, it’s a great time to get that missed celebration back in the diary.
‘Whether it’s an award winning restaurant for an anniversary, your favourite local for Christmas or that hot new opening for a birthday, OpenTable has got diners covered for every celebratory moment.”