Restaurant dining trends in Europe

Published 07.27.2021 - Last update 08.10.2021
Man and Woman dining
Table of Contents
  1. Family meal (37%*), aperitivo with friends (34%*) or a special occasion (31%*) are the top 3 motivations of TheFork diners
  2. Partner with TheFork
  3. TheFork diners restaurant journey

Family meal (37%*), aperitivo with friends (34%*) or a special occasion (31%*) are the top 3 motivations of TheFork diners

Every diner has a different idea of what restaurant to book, for instance, one could be searching for a quiet romantic night and another for a lively family reunion after months of separation. Every restaurant owner should keep in mind that creating the best experience for diners is key and having a better idea of who your potential diners are is extremely useful when trying to achieve this.

Did you know that 81%* of TheFork diners dine out at least once per month vs. 78%* for non-diners.

TheFork led a survey in May 2021 in order to get a better understanding of who TheFork diners are and what they are looking for when searching for a restaurant. Take a deep dive into our findings of who TheFork diners are, what they want, and how you can improve your profile to reach these potential diners. TheFork diners are 100% restaurant lovers, and love going to new places and going out to restaurants as a part of their monthly habits with TheFork diners going to restaurants more frequently than other diners. 81%* of TheFork diners dine out at least once per month vs. 78%* for non-diners.

Restaurant tables

What’s in TheFork diners’ DNA? 61% of them would rather book a table for dinner and 53% on weekends!

Dinner is their preferred meal to go out to restaurants

While time preferences can always change, restaurant schedule preferences are quite even between weekdays (47%*) and weekends (53%*) but diners tend to prefer dinner (61%*) instead of lunch (37%*). Brunch, while popular on weekends, only represents about 2%* of the overall bookings. 

TheFork diners’ average bill is HIGHER

When looking at how much the average diner spends at a restaurant, TheFork diners spend on average more than other diners per meal with 81%* spending more than 25€ ($40 AUD) in comparison to 70%* of non-diners.

37%* of TheFork diners book a restaurant to enjoy quality time with family

While diners have a range of different motivations when looking for restaurants we found 31%** book to celebrate a special occasion, 34%** to catch up with friends, and 37%** to enjoy quality time with family.

How TheFork diners compare to non-diners

Motivations to go to the restaurant between TheFork diners and non-diners are quite different, here are some comparisons:

  • 51%* of TheFork diners go out as couple compared to 39%* for non-diners 
  • 42%* of TheFork diners want to try new restaurants and new food whereas only 23%* of non-diners are motivated by this idea 
  • 38%* enjoy good deals at restaurants against 10%* for non-diners 

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TheFork diners restaurant journey

The diner’s experience starts far before the actual dining at the restaurant. It begins and ends online and we found TheFork diners have a very typical restaurant journey.

The First Thought

 After the initial 1st thought of going to a restaurant, diners gather preferences regarding the type of cuisine, budget, and any dietary restrictions they have in mind.

Once diners have an idea of the type of restaurant they would like to go to, they begin their online search. This process includes checking guides or wishlists, getting inspired by photos or videos on social media like Instagram, or searching directly on a map to filter easily.

Once a handful of options are in mind, diners compare ratings, read reviews online, check menu items if they’re available and verify seating availability. This step of the diner’s journey will shorten the list of restaurants to two or one.

Finally, diners go on to secure a table online at their most convenient time slot and add any special requests (ex. Birthday requests).

 TheFork diners will prepare for the dinner by confirming booking information, sharing dining details with others, and verifying restaurant location and directions.

The most important step for restaurants and diners, the time to enjoy the meal and if they’re having a great experience they’re more likely to take photos and share a review.


The dinner comes to an end and the user will pay by cash, credit card or by a mobile payment like TheFork Pay.

Now that the dining experience has ended, diners share their experience through reviews and photos, on TheFork and other online channels like social media.

Spontaneity of the restaurant experience can sometimes change the restaurant journey, like when one walks down the street with family and friends and finds a nice restaurant to try on the way. However in general, the journey relies on the internet and is a true conscious act of purchase. 

The internet has become a monumental part of diner’s solutions to fulfill their needs at each step of the journey. Not only will they use TheFork to book but a lot of restaurant reflection will happen online. 

People looking at laptop


What are TheFork diners looking for? 

Every restaurant owner should have in mind today that it is more than crucial to have an online presence as the internet has become a great part of the diner’s restaurant journey. Therefore, creating an online profile on TheFork can significantly improve the restaurant image and bring not only more visibility but more bookings. 

When it comes to information a restaurant should share to its audience, TheFork diners revealed what motivates their decisions online are: 

  • Knowing the average price (89%***)
  • Knowing the menu is up to date (85%***)
  • Knowing that reviews are from people who actually diners at the restaurant (84%***)
  • Ability to find restaurant at the last minute (81%***)
  • Ability to get confirmation for their special requests (79%***)

We can see that TheFork's diners are interested in having transparent information regarding restaurants, whether it’s for the reviews or the prices. 

The choice of a particular restaurant is also motivated by more specific details of the diner experience. TheFork diners are particularly interested in information about:

  • The noise level 
  • Special features of the restaurant (outdoor, rooftop)
  • Loyalty (deals) 
  • Being able to choose the type of table you want when booking. 

Finally, diners highlight that they feel it’s important to them to know when new restaurants open in their neighborhood, to see a complete list of all restaurants in an area even if some are not bookable online and to learn the latest news regarding restaurants nearby. 

37%* of diners also look at where they can spend their Yums, join our loyalty program

As the restaurant profile appears to be the main source of information for potential diners, let’s discover how diners navigate them on the TheFork app. 

Most diners go straight to the search bar on TheFork mobile app to enter a specific keyword like a type of cuisine and 34%* of these diners start a search looking for a specific restaurant. This means that being present on TheFork is crucial to be viewed by all potential diners. 37%* of diners also look at where they can spend their Yums, TheFork loyalty program. 

Discover here how Yums can help you attract more diners. Diners are also looking at special offers like 20%* discounts, so don’t hesitate to use TheFork special offers to boost your bookings. Learn more about special offers here

When a potential diner is looking at a restaurant profile they believe a few pieces of content are the most important with 31%* saying photos, 31%* menus, and 43%* promotions. 

So it can be crucial to have appealing restaurant photos and place a large focus on these 3 pieces of content to help spark the interest of diners.

Overall, TheFork diners are looking for dining experiences they can’t easily find without our booking platform. They rely not only on the reviews to make their restaurant choice but also on the restaurant impression they receive from the profile. Optimizing your restaurant profile and understanding the DNA of TheFork diners will help you increase your bookings and attract the best of the diners. 


(*) TheFork Jobs to be done survey (May 2021) in France, Italy, Spain, UK - 1,299 respondents, non-TheFork users

(**)TheFork Jobs to be done survey in FR, IT, ES, UK [TF users & non-users: 3,145 respondents], May 2021: “What are the  most important reasons you look for restaurants (up to 3 answers)

(***)TheFork Jobs to be done survey in FR, IT, ES, UK - 3,145 respondents], May 2021 (average between TF users & non-users)


Table of Contents
  1. Family meal (37%*), aperitivo with friends (34%*) or a special occasion (31%*) are the top 3 motivations of TheFork diners
  2. Partner with TheFork
  3. TheFork diners restaurant journey
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