Diners see Caribbean as most under-represented cuisine in UK restaurants

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Caribbean food topped Bookatable's list of top 10 foods Brits would like to see better represented in the UK
Caribbean food topped Bookatable's list of top 10 foods Brits would like to see better represented in the UK

Related tags Cent Eating Restaurant Uk

Caribbean food has topped a list of the types of cuisine British diners want to see more of on menus with Greek following closely behind. 

The survey by restaurant booking platform Bookatable about the dining options available to diners in their local areas, found that while established cuisines such as French, British and Italian were on the top 10 list of most in-demand world foods, there is a growing appetite for less well-represented cuisines such as Caribbean, Greek, Moroccan and Brazilian. 

Perhaps, unsurprisingly, London offers the widest choice of cuisine with 72 per cent of Londoners satisfied with the range of cuisines offered in their area.

Northern Ireland proved to be the unhappiest foodie region in the UK, with 51 per cent claiming they were dissatisfied by the range of cuisines available.  

The South West and Scotland also fared badly with 45 per cent and 32 per cent of diners in those areas saying they were bored with the selection of foods in their respective regions. 


However, while a large number of those surveyed said they were bored with the types of restaurant available to them in their local areas, when it comes to trying something new, many actually don't want to take the plunge. Thirty four per cent of those surveyed saying they do not like certain foods despite never having tried them before and 39 per cent admitted they rarely try something new.

Bookatable also found that many foods had either not made it to certain regions or were deemed unpopular there. For example, almost half of East Midlanders have never tried sushi, 55 per cent of Scots have never tried Peruvian superfood quinoa and 51 per cent of diners in the North West have never eaten an oyster. 

Bookatable chief executive Joe Steele said: “It’s clear that there is an appetite for more varied dining options across the UK.  It appears that certain food types aren’t broadly represented, causing some people to be less adventurous. But given the huge demand for emerging cuisine types such as Caribbean, Moroccan and Brazilian, it’s clear that diners just need a push in the right direction.

“Interestingly, this research also reveals which types of cuisines have yet to spread across certain regions in the UK, which may be surprising to many but will undoubtedly be a useful insight for any restaurateur looking to expand their operation into a different city.

"Our main goal is to encourage people to be more adventurous when it comes to eating out because there are so many exciting foods for people to discover.”

Eating-out sales growth

News of growing interest in emerging cuisines comes as foodservice consultancy Horizons reveals that more people are buying meals and snacks to eat outside the home as the number of foodservice outlets in the UK continues to grow and the choice of foods broadens.

Sixty-six per cent of the 300 operators surveyed for Horizons' latest Eating Out Look report, saw an increase in food sales out of the home in the year to April 2015 with 21 per cent reporting a 'large increase'.

However, while frequency has increased, spend is less with average spend dropping from £13.10 in Spring 2014 to £11.03 in Spring 2015. 

“People are now snacking more, or having one, or maybe two courses instead of three, which explains why average spend appears to have fallen. This backs up our previous consumer research that shows that while spend has fallen back slightly, frequency of eating out is rising,” said Emma Read, Horizons’ director of marketing & business development.


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