Food and Drink

Quality, company and desserts key for dining experience, study finds

New research from Speakeasy – creators of luxury, alcohol-infused ice cream – exploring what Brits are looking for when dining out, has found quality is still at the most important aspect of a “memorable dining experience”.

The survey of 2,000 consumers found the top three considerations for a memorable meal are the company, the quality of food served and ending the dinner with a delicious dessert.

The research also found four out of five Brits listed customer service as their top priority (80.8%) for creating a lasting impression. Over half of diners are also influenced by the presentation of their meals (50.8%).  Furthermore, the quality of food leads the way when consumers are selecting where to eat, with three-quarters of Brits (77.6%) highlighting it as a key factor.

Speakeasy added although quality is key, Brits do like a bit of excitement and innovation with their dinner, with a third claiming “an exciting experience” and unique products on the menu as potential drivers.

Those surveyed were also asked what would make them willing to pay more for their meal and quality was a clear winner again, with almost two-thirds selecting good quality British produce (62.6%). A unique and innovative menu was also enticing to almost half of respondents (48.3%), followed by a well-known chef (33.5%) and visiting a restaurant considered to be ‘trendy’ (22.5%).

Research also reveals the younger generation are more interested in “creativity and innovation”, with almost half of 18-25-year olds looking for something new when choosing where to eat (47.2%) compared with less than 20% of those over 55 years of age (17.6%).

What Brits are willing to pay more for also differs with age, with over half of 18-25-year olds putting a higher price on innovation and enjoying something unique (51.2%). The importance of locally sourced, good quality British produce also increases with age as more than three-quarters of over 55-year olds are willing to pay more for it (78.8%), compared with just over half of 18-25-year olds (54%).

Speakeasy co-founder, Jane Woodhead, said: “With so many choices for consumers when choosing somewhere to eat, restaurateurs need to understand what their potential customers are looking for. Our research shows that the quality of meal, produce and service is still vital to creating a memorable meal, increasing the likelihood of a repeat visit and positive word of mouth.

“Though quality is key, it’s great to see that desserts are still tantalising the taste buds of diners and one of the top three deciding factors for creating a truly decadent dining experience.”

She added: “What these results do highlight is that quality, and where possible, British produce is vital throughout a restaurants entire menu and that every course needs to be carefully considered including, the often overlooked, dessert range. A delicious dessert is the perfect way to round off an evening your customers will never forget.”

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