Brits Spend More Than Five Hours A Year Deciding Where To Eat, Research Finds

by : Lucy Connolly on : 28 Sep 2018 13:17

What I’m about to tell you will come as no shock to absolutely anyone who knows me. Deciding where to eat or what I want to eat is a massive task for me. Almost impossible, in fact.

As soon as someone even starts to ask the question ‘where do you want to eat?’ I start to get the shakes, sweat, you name it. I’ve even taken a quiz before to help me decide what I should have for my tea.


So it doesn’t surprise me to find out that Brits spend the equivalent of more than five hours every year deciding where to eat, according to research.

The study also revealed that millions of diners are shying away from trying new foods because they can’t decide what to go for.

And despite the nation’s ever increasing foodie population, with the average Brit dining out at least once a month, the results found six in 10 play their meal choices ‘safe’ by eating at the same places, time and time again.


Again, ask anyone I know, this also applies to me. Chinese – chicken fried rice. Indian – chicken korma. Pub – burger and chips. Bish bash bosh, sorted.

The research was conducted by Meerkat Meals, who created a unique ‘Restaurant Roulette’ tool to help diners decide what to eat by picking from a list of cuisines.

Chef Dishing Out FoodPexels

Julie Daniels of Compare the Market said:


Everyone loves dining out, and with such a wide selection of restaurants and cuisines so easily accessible, we’re a nation spoilt for choice.

However, the seemingly-simple question of ‘What do you want to eat?’ can often become an excruciating conversation, and this in turn is meaning many are finding the whole experience difficult.

So why do we struggle so much? Well, according to the study, a common barrier to trying new places to eat is the size of the group we’re eating with. In fact, nearly half of those polled said it’s harder to pick a restaurant when eating out with four or more people.

It also emerged choosing where to eat in a group takes on average 25 minutes, which mounts up to over five hours over a year.


The pressure of deciding where to eat among a group also has severe social consequences, with almost half of diners saying choosing a restaurant that everyone likes takes the fun out of the experience.

The research also found diners much prefer to eat out when the choice of restaurant is taken out of their own hands.

More than one third agreed it was much easier when somebody else chose the dining destination.

Chef Bringing Food
Chef Bringing Food

And when it comes to the culinary desires of the nation, Caribbean came out as the cuisine people would most like to try, with a fifth of diners saying it was on top of their ‘to-try’ list.

This was closely followed by Thai, Greek, Japanese and then Chinese.

The most popular cuisine Brits choose when dining out is Pub grub, followed by Italian, Chinese, Indian and American food.

You can try the restaurant roulette tool via Compare The Market here.

Well, that’s me sorted!

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Food