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Consumer Attitudes Towards Fine Dining - UK - June 2011

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has defined a fine dining restaurant as follows:

  • a restaurant that creates a ‘serious’ dining experience
  • a restaurant that attempts to create an impeccable service experience
  • a restaurant that typically hires chefs and staff from culinary schools
  • a menu that features main courses most of which are more than £20.

Limited-service Restaurant (LSR)

For the purposes of this report, LSRs includes all counter-order foodservice establishments, including quick-service restaurants, pizza shops, coffee shops, snack shops, bakeries and fast casual restaurants. The common thread is that there is no table service in these venues, so diners tend to pay before receiving the food ordered.

Buffet/carvery

Buffets and carveries largely work along similar lines, in that they are predominantly characterised by their self-service nature, with diners paying a flat fee and serving themselves from a selection of dishes presented in a communal area. However, both often incorporate an element of table service, if only in the form of drinks provision.

Cafeteria/canteen

Table service is largely absent from cafeteria and canteen-style venues. Instead, diners tend to choose from a limited/fixed menu which is either pre-plated or served pre-cooked from heater display counters. A diner tends to pay at a checkout at the end of the counter row and before food is consumed. They also collect their own food and cutlery. Communal dining tables are often prevalent in these venues.

These service formats are often found in educational, medical and workplace establishments.

Food court

A food court is defined as a centralised and shared seating area for a variety of food counters serving different meals, snacks and beverages. A single or multiple operators may manage a food court. In some cases a single operator acts as a franchisee for a variety of brands. A food court is generally characterised by the self-service style of operation and the speed of delivery.

By their nature, food courts tend to be located in areas of high footfall dealing with the requirements of large volumes of consumers. Typically common locations include: retail environments such as shopping centres and outlet malls; travel hubs such as airports and railway stations; leisure venues such as theme parks and zoos; and public/staff catering venues such as hospitals and colleges.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Limited-service Restaurant (LSR)
          • Buffet/carvery
            • Cafeteria/canteen
              • Food court
                • Fast food/Quick-service Restaurants (QSR)
                  • Fast casual dining (FCD)
                    • Casual dining
                      • Full-service restaurant
                        • Fine/upscale/gourmet dining
                        • Executive Summary

                            • The market
                              • Companies, brands and innovation
                                • The consumer
                                  • Expenditure
                                    • Figure 1: Expenditure on eating out, for a special occasion/treat, April 2011
                                  • Enticements and deterrents
                                    • Figure 2: Menu deterrents, April 2011
                                    • Figure 3: Menu enticements, April 2011
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues in the Market

                                      • How has the recent economic turbulence impacted the market?
                                        • How can fine dining restaurants broaden their appeal?
                                          • How can fine dining venues develop additional revenue streams?
                                          • Future Opportunities

                                              • Reward loyal diners with better experiences not discounts
                                                • Building anticipation, guaranteeing an informed choice and creating a more ‘productive’ evening
                                                • Casual Dining Trends

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Casual dining trends in the eating out market
                                                      • Casual versus formal dining trends in the fine dining market
                                                        • A nod towards casual dining trends
                                                          • Using formal dining to stand out from the crowd
                                                            • Dress codes
                                                              • Child restrictions
                                                                • No sportswear
                                                                  • Little or no dress code
                                                                    • Afternoon tea
                                                                    • Cuisine/Flavour Trends in Fine Dining

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Fine dining is now applied to a wide variety of cuisine types
                                                                        • The ‘Experience’ Angle

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Consumers are prioritising ‘experiences’
                                                                              • Figure 4: Consumer spending priorities, 2010 and 2011
                                                                            • Tasting menus
                                                                              • Gift vouchers/cards
                                                                                • Cooking masterclasses
                                                                                  • Chefs’ tables
                                                                                    • Other experiences
                                                                                    • Money Matters

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Consumers are less prepared to pay more
                                                                                          • Figure 5: Trends in agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 2006-10
                                                                                        • 25-34s enjoy ‘splashing out’
                                                                                          • Younger consumers are more likely to prefer trendy venues
                                                                                            • The fine dining market has looked to promotions in the recession
                                                                                              • The growing influence of web discounts
                                                                                              • Restaurant Guides, Reviews and Awards

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Michelin stars
                                                                                                    • Harden’s London Restaurant awards 2011
                                                                                                      • Zagat Survey 2010
                                                                                                        • The National Restaurant Awards
                                                                                                          • But how much do reviews really influence people?
                                                                                                            • Figure 6: Trends in agreement with selected lifestyle statements on reviews and factors which influence purchase decisions, 2006-10
                                                                                                        • Companies and Products

                                                                                                            • 10 in 8 The Fine Dining Group
                                                                                                              • Alain Ducasse
                                                                                                                • Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester
                                                                                                                  • Other developments
                                                                                                                    • Arbutus Restaurant Group
                                                                                                                      • Chapters Restaurants
                                                                                                                        • D&D London
                                                                                                                          • Other developments
                                                                                                                            • Galvin Restaurants
                                                                                                                              • Galvin at Windows
                                                                                                                                • Other developments
                                                                                                                                  • Gary Rhodes
                                                                                                                                    • Rhodes Twenty Four
                                                                                                                                      • Rhodes W1
                                                                                                                                        • Price promotions
                                                                                                                                          • Other developments
                                                                                                                                            • Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH)
                                                                                                                                              • Restaurant Gordon Ramsay at the Royal Hospital Road
                                                                                                                                                • Petrus
                                                                                                                                                  • Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s
                                                                                                                                                    • Savoy Grill
                                                                                                                                                      • Heston Blumenthal
                                                                                                                                                        • The Fat Duck
                                                                                                                                                          • Dinner
                                                                                                                                                            • Other developments
                                                                                                                                                              • L’Autre Pied and Pied à Terre
                                                                                                                                                                • Pied à Terre
                                                                                                                                                                  • L’Autre Pied
                                                                                                                                                                    • Other developments
                                                                                                                                                                      • London Fine Dining Group
                                                                                                                                                                        • Nobu Group
                                                                                                                                                                          • Nobu London
                                                                                                                                                                            • Nobu Berkeley Street
                                                                                                                                                                              • Raymond Blanc
                                                                                                                                                                                • Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Other developments
                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Ivy and Le Caprice
                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Ivy
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Le Caprice
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Other developments
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Eating Out Habits

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                              • More than four in five consumers eat out
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 7: Eating out in the six months to April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 8: Trends in frequency of visiting restaurant for a meal, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                              • The hotel effect
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Amount Spent on Eating Out For a Special Occasion

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • One in three would spend less than £20 for a special-occasion meal
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 9: Expenditure on eating out, for a special occasion/treat, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Reasons for Eating Out

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Socialising and mood are key drivers of eating out
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 10: Reasons for eating out, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Menu Deterrents

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Menu descriptions divide opinions
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 11: Menu deterrents, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Menu Enticements

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • House specialties appeal to more than half of diners
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 12: Menu enticements, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • How fine dining venues can incorporate the demand for customisation without losing their authority
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Using dishes to create ‘emblems’ useful both for marketing purposes and improving brand awareness
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Incorporating healthy options to the fine dining experience
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Competition in terms of ingredient quality from casual dining sector
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • General attitudes towards ethical products, health etc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Trends in agreement with selected lifestyle statements, 2006-10
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Eating Out Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Menu enticements – target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Eating out target groups based on menu enticements, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • More, More, More
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Apathetic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Party Girls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Looking for Something Special
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Eating Out Habits

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 15: Eating out habits, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 16: Frequency of visiting restaurant for a meal, by detailed demographics, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Amount Spent on Eating Out For a Special Occasion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 17: Expenditure on eating out for a special occasion/treat, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 18: Everyday meal spend, by financial situation at the moment, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 19: Special-occasion/treat meal spend, by financial situation at the moment, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: Everyday meal spend, by expectations of financial situation over the next year or so, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Special occasion/treat spend, by expected financial situation over the next year or so, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Reasons for Eating Out

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 22: Most popular reasons for eating out, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Next most popular reasons for eating out, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Other reasons for eating out, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Expenditure on eating out, by most popular reasons for eating out, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Expenditure on eating out, by next most popular reasons for eating out, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Expenditure on eating out, by other reasons for eating out, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Menu Deterrents

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: Most popular menu deterrents, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Next most popular menu deterrents, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Expenditure on eating out, by most popular menu deterrents, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Expenditure on eating out, by next most popular menu deterrents, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Menu deterrents, by most popular reasons for eating out, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Menu deterrents, by next most popular reasons for eating out, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Menu deterrents, by other reasons for eating out, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Menu Enticements

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Menu enticements, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Menu enticements – house speciality, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Menu enticements – regularly changing specials/menu, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Menu enticements – local/regional/UK ingredients, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Menu enticements – ethical ingredients, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Menu enticements – healthy/low-fat/low-calorie options, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Menu enticements – ability to customise dishes, by detailed demographics, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Expenditure on eating out, by menu enticements (any important), April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Expenditure on eating out, by menu enticements, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Reasons for eating out, by menu enticements, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Reasons for eating out, by menu enticements, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Menu deterrents, by menu enticements, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Menu enticements, by menu enticements, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Menu enticements, by menu enticements, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Eating Out Targeting Opportunities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Expenditure on eating out, by target groups, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Reasons for eating out, by target groups, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Menu deterrents, by target groups, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Menu enticements, by target groups, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Financial situation at the moment, by target groups, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 54: Financial situation over the next year or so, by target groups, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Target groups, by detailed demographics, April 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Caprice Holdings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Compass Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • D&D London
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Gordon Ramsay Holdings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Heston Blumenthal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Hilton Group plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Rivington Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Gaucho Grill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Wolseley plc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Consumer Attitudes Towards Fine Dining - UK - June 2011

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