Customer Behaviour

Millennials the most generous restaurant tippers

For restauranteurs, it pays to know the things that annoy customers the most – PaymentSense’s new restaurant report illuminates exactly where customers want to be impressed and uncovers the generations that will be the hardest to please – the results might surprise you!

The restaurant industry is big business in the UK and plays a huge part in British culture. Each year, 50 million adults dine out in restaurants – that’s approximately 2.4 billion eating out occasions over a 12-month period.

Simply put, we love food, and everyone has an opinion on what we eat to where and how we eat it.

PaymentSense surveyed over 2,000 Brits about their opinions and preferences when it comes to dining out and have produced a report that offers a fascinating snapshot of Britain’s eating habits in 2019. The research also highlighted the differing attitudes and opinions of the various demographics prevalent in the UK, including millennials, the retired and the empty nesters.

The demographics surveyed were:

Retired – Older people who are not economically active.
Empty Nesters – People over 35 years old and with no children living at home.
Older Family – Where the youngest child is 10-17 years old.
Young Family – Where the youngest child is under 10 years old.
Sharers – Under 35 years old and living in shared accommodation with other adults.
Couples – Under 35, living with their partner, and with no children.
Fledglings – Over 18 and living with parents.
Independents – Under 35 and living alone.
Millennials – Compiled of sharers, couples, fledglings and independents aged under 35.

The report investigated Brit’s tipping habits. 88% of British diners will tip restaurant staff, but acknowledge there’s a lack of transparency and standardisation in how their tips are received.

The lack of clarity explains why nearly half (48%) of consumers prefer to tip in cash, despite the overall decline in its use. Younger consumers are the least inclined to use cash but are still the most generous – with 95% of them likely to tip!

Consumers are keen to know where their money is going, as nearly twice as many consumers want to tip directly to staff instead of it being added onto the bill!

Food frustrations

When it comes to waiting too long for a meal to arrive, it was the empty nesters and retired groups who were the most impatient, with nearly 70% from each of these demographics citing this as their number one gripe. This figure is significantly higher than the UK average of 59%, while nearly 50% of the supposedly impatient millennials ranked this as their number one problem.

The second biggest nuisance for Brits dining out was waiting for the bill to arrive (22%). This particularly riled the couples and empty nesters surveyed, with 22% from these demographics stating this as their personal pet peeve. The UK average was 19%, whilst 21% of millennials found waiting for the bill the biggest drag.

And, while you might think that splitting the bill is the one thing that can raise tempers at the end of a group meal, this only annoyed 4% of Brits more than anything else.

Arriving at a restaurant to find the table is not ready is the personal pet hate for 6% of everyone surveyed, while only 5% of millennials said this was their top annoyance.

So, who are the impatient generation?

While waiting for food was by far the biggest bone of contention for Brits across the board, 72% admitted that any of the aforementioned problems had the potential to annoy them. Once again, the survey seemed to suggest that millennials are not as impatient as previously thought, as they were below the national average here – 65% claimed that any of these problems could irritate them.

At the other end of the scale, it was the empty nesters that came out as the most impatient with 79% stating ‘any of the above’ could wind them up. Retirees were the second most impatient group and older families were in third place.

While millennials have been dubbed as the most impatient generation in the workplace, it seems that they are far more relaxed when it comes to dining out!

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