British guests embrace 'menu hacking' trend

British guests embrace 'menu hacking' trend

Steak meal

British diners are embracing 'menu hacking' when ordering a meal at a pub or restaurant, according to a new survey by leading table booking service, OpenTable. The restaurant booking platform revealed that 28% of respondents stated they enjoyed ordering completely off-menu when eating out, whilst more than half (56%) stated they had requested a dish to be adapted to better suit their tastes.

Suggesting that it is the restaurant itself, rather than the menu, that ensures customer loyalty, 38% of respondents stated that if they were after a particular dish, they would rather dine at a restaurant they like and menu hack, rather than visit somewhere new.

With more than half (57%) of guests believing that it is their right to order off-menu meals, it's no surprise that hospitality operators are proving receptive to this trend. OpenTable found that 94% of restaurateurs stating they were happy to accommodate a guest's particular requirements or specific requests in the hope that it would help strengthen customer loyalty.

The study also revealed that women are more likely to make special requests than men with 59% of women comfortable ordering off menu compared to 52% of men. Gender appeared to also play a role in the reason behind making alterations with 15% of women choosing to adapt dishes with the aim of making them healthier and 30% of men changing their meal as they enjoy adding extras.

In terms of adaptations, the survey also demonstrated the most likely menu hacks included removing sauce (11%), mushrooms (10%) and meat (8%) from dishes. The overwhelming majority chose, as their motivation, distaste for specific ingredients (56%), followed by the desire for added extras (22%). Only 15% chose lack of options as their motivation for menu hacking.

Managing Director at OpenTable, Mike Xenakis, commented: "It is refreshing to see British restaurants accommodating the expansive tastes of diners in the UK... we celebrate the growing trend of menu hacking and encourage diners to experiment... at the restaurants they love."

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