Diners in British Columbia were surveyed by Research Co. in order to find out more about their eating-out routines. The study focussed on three main themes: frequency, actual experiences and what it takes for a restaurant to become a favourite hangout. Differences in the varying age groups and genders revealed interesting insights into consumer behaviour.
Almost half the people surveyed (48 percent) said that they go out for dinner once, or less than once a month. Inversely, around 27 percent of British Columbians reported dining out once, or more than once a week. The highest rate of dining out was people aged between 18 and 34, who said that 35 percent of them dine out at least once a week.
In an age where technology is more critical than ever, almost half of British Columbians (47 percent) said that they had visited a restaurants website prior to making their reservation. If restaurants have little, or outdated online presence, perhaps this is a good indicator to keep it all updated. Another essential online factor was the fact that around one in five British Columbians reported that they took a picture of their food or someone else’s at the restaurant.
Restauranteurs will be pleased to know that four in ten British Columbians said that they had tipped more than 20 percent of the cost of their meal, and more than 35 percent maintained they had complimented a manager for a positive experience. On the opposite side, 25 percent of diners declared having sent a meal back to the kitchen, while 21 percent left without tipping.
Today’s diner is not afraid to ask for what they want; they also expect it to come out exactly how they like. However, this is not to say that they are unappreciative. Compliments and generous tipping seem to be an adequate reward for excellent service. There are also apparent differences in diner’s age groups. Younger generations seem readier to go out and eat, while older generations are more inclined to stay at home. The influence of social media also plays a huge part in this, as younger people are more prone to taking pictures of someone around their table’s food and sharing it across social platforms.
Customer experiences are also paramount to this survey. Most people, 52 percent, said that they would return to a restaurant where the food is pricy as long as it is excellent. However, only 36 percent said that they would return to a place with great food if they have terrible service. Perhaps the most significant gender gap lies in the restaurants where the food is cheap, but not awful. Around 29 percent of men said that they would return to a place like this; however, only 18 percent of females would do the same.