Brits ill-equipped to enjoy quality dining experience

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 17th June 2008

The popularity of celebrity chefs of the ilk of Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, coupled with the success of British restaurants in lists of the world’s best restaurants, has been attributed to the rise in interest in top-class establishments. A study carried out by food festival Taste of Britain, however, indicates that, while Brits are enticed by the prospect of dining at high quality restaurants, many are ill-equipped for the experience.

Fine dining

Of the 1,120 surveyed, 45 per cent did not complain when staff made a mistake and 18 per cent indicated they chose the house wine instead of asking for assistance. A staggering 59 per cent would only ever order food they had tried before and nine per cent were content to order chips as a side dish even though it was not actually on the menu.

Other mistakes made by consumers included the use of wrong cutlery, the eating of things on the side of the plate which were merely there as decoration and the purchasing of expensive wine just to give the illusion that they were not tight with money. Ten per cent also admitted that when on a date they had pretended to understand the menu when in fact they had no idea – perhaps explaining the low number of people who would go to a French restaurant on a first date.

Like the Brits, Australians are growing increasingly excited about food, but the restaurant experience can be daunting for the many new to first class dining concepts. Consequently, the need for quality waiting staff and sommeliers is greater than ever, as they provide consumers with their lasting impressions of the establishment and can make high quality dining the memorable experience it is supposed to be, rather than simply leaving consumers confused, embarrassed and a little disorientated.