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Insights 1/5: Eating Somewhere New

In this cluttered and competitive market, it is becoming increasingly challenging to explain consumer behaviour, its drivers and influences. This led us to consider the issues our customers face in trying to understand what motivates diners to eat out, as well as what decision process they go through when selecting where to eat.

Unlike traditional research which informs on the state of things, we wanted our findings to be both practical and actionable – information you can take and apply to your business to pull in diners and keep them coming back. 

In the event, our research delivered far more than we expected. So much in fact that we are releasing it in a five-part series. We hope you find the insights useful and that you can successfully apply the findings to your business. 

Sign up to Fairway INSIDER here to get the rest of the series:

PART 2: Changing Behaviour of Eating Out
PART 3: Latest Trends in Eating Out
PART 4: Researching Where to Eat
PART 5: Pulling It All Together

Visiting Somewhere New

The quality of food, customer service and overall value for money are the three key factors driving venue choice.

25% of consumers surveyed said they visited somewhere new the last time they ate out, with 40% of those visiting local independent restaurants.

We also discovered that:

  • older consumers are more likely to have eaten somewhere new recently, with 50% eating in the establishment for the first time when they ate out 
  • younger consumers, aged 18 to 25, were the least likely to have eaten somewhere new for the first 
  • local independent pubs/bars and restaurants were amongst the top choices for those seeking to try somewhere new, with chain bars, bars or pubs second. Fast food outlets were next, followed by fine dining or premium restaurants, local independent cafes, and chain cafes.

Motivators to Eating Somewhere New

Friend or family recommendations are pivotal to encouraging consumers to try eating somewhere for the first time.

Interestingly, older customers were less likely to say their choice had been influenced by a recommendation (20% of participants) but were instead more likely to choose somewhere easy to get to (60%).

Younger consumers, aged 18-24, were most  likely to visit somewhere if they had a promotion  or offer to use (67%)

Repeat Visits

For those who were making a repeat visit to a restaurant, the following reasons (of which some diners chose more than one) helped shape diners’ decisions:


So, how do you get diners through the door? The bottom line is this: dish up great food and people will come back. Offers and promotions are helping influence customers, while great service, good online reviews, easy access to menus ahead of a visit, and an extensive range of vegetarian and vegan options also motivate diners.

With all those points in mind, caterers can take actionable steps to improve their offering and encourage loyalty in their customers.

What Next…

Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for part two in our five-part series. In it, we’ll look at the latest trends in eating out, so do sign up to to Fairway INSIDER to receive industry news, inspiration and insights tailored to caterers.

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