Overall contactless spending has tripled in the past year with restaurants accounting for 20 per cent of all payments, according to data from Barclaycard.
Pubs and bars accounted for four per cent of all transactions, though the figures could be even higher as they exclude data from systems such as Apple Pay - which launched in the UK in July.
The figures have been released ahead of the rise in the maximum possible contactless spend on cards and mobile devices from £20 to £30 from 1 September.
A Barclaycard survey of 2000 consumers found that almost six in 10 intended to increase their contactless usage as a result of the increased limit.
It could be good news for restaurants as consumers continue to spend more on hospitality, with Barclaycard data showing customers spent 13.6 per cent more dining out in July 2015 than July 2014.
Tami Hargreaves, head of contactless at Barclaycard, said the speed and ease of ‘touch and go’ transactions was seeing contactless become the preferred payment method for customers and businesses.
“Over the next year we expect the limit increase alongside the forthcoming launch of High Value Payments – where contactless transactions over £30 can be made using a mobile device combined with Chip and PIN authorisation – to drive this growth even further," she said.
"Ultimately, the uptake of contactless spending is a ‘win-win’ for consumers and businesses alike.”
London continues to lead the way in terms of integration of the technology with 40 per cent of eligible transactions made using contactless payment this year, up 10 per cent from 2014.
Leeds reported the largest increase in payments, with the figure rising 211 per cent year-on-year.
Barclays said it anticipated further growth in the systems outside the capital as businesses across the UK continue to adopt the technology.