The Irish are a nation that loves to dine out. That’s according to a new survey* by OpenTable, which finds that 1 in 5 Irish diners enjoy eating out at least once a week.
Ireland’s favourite food
According to the OpenTable poll, Italian is Ireland’s favourite food with almost a third (31%) saying it’s their cuisine of choice when dining out, this was followed by traditional Irish fare (16%) and Thai food (15%). The top five cuisines for dining out are: Italian (31%), Irish (16%), Thai (15%), Chinese (13%), and Indian (8%).
Unsurprisingly it is the weekend when the majority (40%) of Irish diners choose to go out to eat, although 15% say they prefer to dine out during the week. It also seems that great food really is the way to someone’s heart, with 1 in 5 saying going out for dinner is their preferred type of date night with their partner.
Spending habits and tipping culture
When it comes to spending on dining out, the average amount reported by those surveyed is between €50-€100 per restaurant meal (47%), while 43% say they try to keep their spending under the €50 mark. However, over half admit they would be more likely to spend more if they were dining out on the company tab!
The OpenTable dining research goes on to reveal that 40% of people usually tip 10% at the end of a meal and only a third said their tip was determined by the level of service in the restaurant. While tipping 20% may be more common in countries such as the United States, only 5% of people polled say they would leave that level of gratuity on their bill.
The talk of the table
Family life is the hot topic around the dining table on a night out according to 45% of respondents, while 13% admitted to discussing work when dining out. They say you should never talk about money and it seems that Irish people agree with none of those questioned saying they would talk about money over dinner.
Restaurant reviews and recommendations
Selecting the perfect restaurant can be a tricky task and 41% of people surveyed said they usually turn to a friend or a colleague for a recommendation, while 16% say they base their choices on restaurant reviews.
The location of a restaurant is an important factor to diners (20%), but it seems that the quality of the food trumps this with 71% of respondents admitting they would be happy to travel to go to a good restaurant.
Commenting on the findings, Adrian Valeriano, Vice President Global Sales and Services, OpenTable said: “At OpenTable we give diners all over the world flexibility and choice to make a reservation at any time of night or day online. Whatever the occasion, whether it is a birthday, anniversary, romantic evening or just a cosy supper in your local neighbourhood, diners can search, discover and make a reservation in some of the world’s best dining destinations whether this is in Dublin or any of our other world class culinary locations. It’s clear from our research that the Irish love to eat out so we are really excited to help them enjoy memorable dining experiences”
*Survey carried out online among 354 Irish adults aged 18+ (82% female 18% male)