78% of UAE residents eat out up to twice a week
Consumer dining habits uncovered by nationwide survey
Abu Dhabi, UAE: According to survey results released this week by Table Talk, 78% of UAE residents eat out up to twice a week. Welcome news for the food and beverage service sector.
Of 592 respondents based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, nearly 75% said they usually eat out up to twice a week for social and family gatherings and 3% said they eat out daily. “Abu Dhabi and Dubai account for 80% of total foodservice demand amongst the seven Emirates. The results of the Table Talk survey demonstrate that eating out has become an everyday part of our lives because it is convenient, affordable and gives an opportunity to spend quality time with friends. It is no longer reserved solely for special occasions,” said Maggie Moore, Event Director, Gulf a la Carte.
The survey was conducted by Table Talk, the bi-weekly industry newsletter of Gulf a la Carte - the first trade exhibition in Abu Dhabi dedicated to those who create and manage restaurants, clubs and cafes.
“As eating out is becoming increasingly the norm in the UAE, the food and beverage service sector can look forward to increased ROI,” Moore said, adding that UAE is currently host to some 11,000 stand alone restaurants, and this figure is expected to increase by over 500 per year. In addition, there are 216 hotels due to be developed in the UAE over the next few years. These hotels alone will add another 650 – 700 food and beverage outlets.
The overall profile of the survey respondents presents a fairly even split of variables, with 52% female respondents and 48% male respondents. 45.6% of respondents belonged to the age group of 22-34. The applied income brackets ranged from less than AED 5,000 to higher than AED 25,000 per month, with a fairly even split of respondents between all income brackets. “The survey results show us that people from all income brackets are deciding to eat out on a regular basis. Fast food, casual dining and fine dining outlets are all benefiting as consumers choose to eat out more,” Moore said.
Factors influencing the choice for restaurants
Good food and beverage is the most popular reason behind choosing at an outlet, 49.5% of respondents were influenced by taste and quality of the food. Good value for money was rated higher than good service; with nearly 27% of respondents opting for restaurants that offer food worth the price paid.
Interestingly, although good service is not one of the top three reasons respondents considered when choosing to return to a restaurant, more than 87% said they would not go back to a restaurant after a bad service experience.
The research showed that most people (44.9%) choose a restaurant for the first time following a friend’s recommendation. Of the remaining, 13.6% of respondents try a new restaurant, club or café because of group deals and offers from websites such as Yallabanana.com, GoNabit and Cobonne.
According to Stefan Breg, CEO of food and beverage creative agency Tribes, “The food and beverage sector needs to keep up with the way people are using social media today, so that they don’t miss out on related revenue.” The fact that only 6.8% of respondents to the Table Talk survey were influenced in their choice of new restaurants by social media would support Berg’s claim. Gulf a la Carte will be hosting Sales and Marketing clinics to address these issues in detail.
“The food and beverage service sector has the potential for exponential growth going forward as the consumer base expands with population increase, the rise in the number of tourists in the region and consumers generally choosing to eat out more frequently as well. The Table Talk study will help restaurants and foodservice operators understand their customers dining habits and preferences and how these are set to evolve and potentially impact their businesses,” Moore concluded.
Find a full version of the report at www.gulfalacarte.com
About Gulf à la Carte
Gulf a la Carte is the first trade exhibition in Abu Dhabi dedicated to the needs of front-of-house management in the food and beverage industry. In cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), Gulf à la Carte will provide the latest innovative solutions and trends for the food and beverage sector and will cover all operational aspects through three featured zones: Design and Fit Out, Equipment and Supplies, and, Technology and Management. Specialist manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services to the food and beverage service sector will meet with owners and developers, designers and specifiers, and, operators and managers from across the region.
For more information visit: www.gulfalacarte.com
About Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority – Strategic Partner for Gulf a la Carte
Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority was established in 2005 as an independent food regulatory agency for the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Authority embodies the Abu Dhabi Government's commitment to protecting its consumers, particularly by ensuring the safety and quality of food served throughout the public. It enforces policies and standards and conducts research and awareness campaigns to maintain a sustainable agriculture and food sector that delivers safe food to the public, protects the health of animals and plants, and adheres to sound environmental practices.
For more information visit: www.adfca.ae
About Turret Media – Organiser of Gulf a la Carte
A multi award winning company, Turret Media has conceptualised, developed and launched some of the most successful live events in the world and is a leading publisher within several market sectors in the Middle East.
Following more than 50 years of experience in the United Kingdom, Turret Media migrated its business headquarters to the UAE in 2006 after becoming a foundation partner of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company.
For more information visit: www.turretme.com