£12.04: What diners are happy to pay for a main course

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

£12.04: What diners are happy to pay for a main course

Related tags: Cent, United kingdom

Diners are happy to pay an average £12.04 for a main course in a restaurant in the UK and Ireland, a survey by LivingSocial has revealed.

The report, from the website, found that the price people are prepared to pay varies depending on cuisine. Consumers are prepared to pay an average £14.20 for a seafood main, £13.75 for French food; £13.28 for a British main while Vietnamese came in last at £10.76 a main meal.


The survey of 7,197 people across 16 cities found that price ranks as the most important factor when picking a restaurant, with 70.5 per cent of diners saying it influences their decision.

This is followed by personal recommendation (41.8 per cent); availability of deals or offers (41.4 per cent) and ability to book a table over the phone (40.3 per cent).

One in five favoured the ability to book online or via a mobile app.

Favourite Foods

Overall when it comes to consumers’ favourite foods, Indian (21.2 per cent) and Chinese (20.8 per cent) meals are the most popular, while traditional British cuisine ranked third (18.5 per cent) . Women’s preferred choice was Chinese followed by Italian then Indian while men preferred Indian, then British followed by Chinese. 


The report reveals that restaurants diners consider there to be a lack of restaurants offering Brazilian (45.1 per cent), Vietnamese (44 per cent) and Caribbean (42 per cent) food.

Consumers in Edinburgh, Leeds and Sheffield showed a strong demand for Greek restaurants, while in the south, in Cardiff, Bristol, Southampton and London, demand was high for Japanese cuisine.


The report also revealed that 50.9 per cent of men always or most of the time drink alcohol when attending a restaurant , compared to just 39.5 per cent of women.

Restaurant-goers in Belfast (61.1 per cent) are most likely to opt for an alcoholic beverage, with people in Southampton (25.7 per cent) drinking the least.


Diners rely on a variety of factors when deciding whether, and how much, to tip. The report suggests friendly service (66.7 per cent) eclipses food quality (63 per cent) in importance, and one in twenty diners say that they tip regardless of their dining experience.

The common perception that a 10 per cent tip is the norm is dispelled by the report – as the national average comes in at only 5.5 per cent. Diners in Edinburgh are the most generous towards restaurant staff but still only tend to add 8.8 per cent to the bill, almost double those in Nottingham (4.5 per cent).

Steven Marritt, chief executive of LivingSocial UK and Ireland, said: “It’s been interesting to see how dining culture varies throughout the UK and Ireland. This report will help us work with our merchants, assist us in providing tailored experiences for local diners and equally be of interest to the wider hospitality industry.”

Related topics: Trends & Reports, Restaurant

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