Brits spend billions eating out

26 October 2005
UK consumers spend around £42 billion a year dining out, with men usually picking up the tab.

A new poll for Virgin Money found that Brits are increasingly venturing out to eat, with Italian voted the nation's favourite food, followed by English, Chinese, Indian and Thai.

Tradition remains intact, with 65 per cent of men claiming to pay a collective bill totalling £22.7 billion a year.

Overall £33 billion is spent eating out in the evening, equating to £21.87 a head, while £9 billion pays for extravagant lunches.

Some 20 per cent of Brits go out at least once a week with their partner or friends and family.

Virgin Money spokesman John Franklin said: "When it comes to eating out, the choices in most towns and cities now are endless - and a meal out is a great way to spend time with a loved one or friends.

"But this survey proves exactly how much meals out will cost us individually and as a nation - and the figures are quite incredible."

Almost 20 per cent of Londoners eat out twice a week, while a third of people in Northern Ireland eat in a restaurant at least once a week.

However, more than a million people end up unable to pay the bill at the end of a meal, pre-dominantly due to credit card problems or an unexpectedly high check.


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