Menu Hacking: More U.K. Diners Ordering Off-Menu

Menu Hacking: More U.K. Diners Ordering Off-Menu

Are Brits turning into a nation of fussy diners? New research from OpenTable’s U.K. team uncovered an interesting change in the ordering habits of British foodies: almost a third (28%) of U.K. diners say they like to order completely off-menu at a restaurant.

Menu Hacking

Known as “menu hacking,” growing demand for a bespoke experience has seen a rise in menu customization, with over half (56%) the UK adapting a dish on a restaurant menu to suit their taste. Over half (57%) of diners also believe it is their right to order food off-menu. Plus, 38% of diners say that when craving a specific dish, they would rather visit a restaurant they love and order off-menu than try out somewhere new.

The most frequently removed items on restaurant menus include sauce (11%), mushrooms (10%) and meat (8%). The biggest driver is a distaste for certain ingredients (56%), followed by enjoying adding extras (22%) and a lack of menu choice (15%).

The research also showed that women are less bashful about making requests to change their order: 59% of women are proud to do so, compared to 52% of men. As many as 4.8 million (15%) of women admit to altering menu dishes in order to make them healthier, while 30% of men adapt their dish to add extras.

What does it mean for restaurants?

No surprise here: as a result of these trends, U.K. restaurants are going out of their way to oblige diners. A recent survey of local restaurateurs revealed that an impressive 94% of restaurants would accommodate a guest’s requirements and requests in order to encourage loyalty to their restaurant. Another 80% of restaurants admitted to seeing an increase in diners ordering dishes that are not on the restaurant menu, or changing a dish that is on the menu.

What are your thoughts on menu hacking? Let us know!

U.K. restaurateurs, tap into the network that seats over 18 million diners each month. Click here to get started.

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