A survey of the eating out habits of almost 3,000 UK adults has found that the most popular places for casual dining are Wetherspoon’s, Harvester and Pizza Express, all of which offer a meal for around £5-6. In the case of Wetherspoons these prices also include a £2.50 pint of beer.

The Leisure Wallet Report by corporate advisers Zolfo Cooper also found that the number of customers who were more likely to visit a restaurant if it was running a price promotion had grown by nearly 40% over the past six months, while the number who used the vouchers from newspapers and the internet more often had risen by 30%, while nearly 40% of diners admitted that in the current economic climate they were less likely to eat out than they were six months ago.

However Zolfo Cooper have told restaurateur’s trade magazine Caterer and Hotelkeeper that their readers should consider their margins before making offers, pointing out that with a gross margin of 88% pizza chains could well afford to offer two for one deals and still make lots of money.

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