A nationwide study has revealed that 70 percent of Kiwi diners prefer casual dining over a formal setting and that excellent food is what will keep them going back to a restaurant.

The ‘What Matters?’ survey also found that New Zealanders are most likely to avoid a restaurant due to poor food quality, dirty bathrooms and rude staff. Despite being relatively forgiving of slow service, around 20 percent of Kiwis will cite this as a reason not to return.

Smartphones have become an integral part of the modern dining experience with 80 percent of Kiwis using their phone to find a restaurant to go to, 55 percent take photos of their dishes to share online, and 45 percent check-in to restaurants on social media.

“The amount of Kiwis following restaurants and chefs via social media is interesting,” said Jennifer Boyes, managing director of Salt & Pepper PR who carried out the survey.

“Hopefully, those figures will encourage them to invest more time in their online presence. Those actively engaging with their customers on social media have a definite advantage over their competitors. It’s an area that many Kiwi restaurants and cafes could improve on.”