MaltaToday Survey | One in four eating out once a week or more

The percentage of those who eat out between once a week and once every fortnight has remained constant since 2009 at 12% 

james
James Debono
6 September 2016, 8:09am
The survey shows that pizzerias remain the favourite type of restaurant for the Maltese
The survey shows that pizzerias remain the favourite type of restaurant for the Maltese

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There has been no change since 2009 in the percentage of people who eat out at a restaurant once a week or more (25%) but there has been a 13-point decline in the percentage of people who rarely or never eat out, according to the results of MaltaToday’s latest survey.

This was corresponded by an 11-point increase among those who eat out less than once a fortnight but more than once a month. The percentage of those who eat out between once a week and once every fortnight (12%) or less than once a month has nearly remained the same (27%).

The survey shows that 35- to 54-year olds are the most likely to eat out once a week or more. Among this category more than one in three (36%) eat out once a week or more. This suggests that dining out is the main leisure evening activity of this age group in contrast with younger respondents who eat out less regularly.

In fact younger respondents aged between 18 and 34 are the most likely to eat out between once a fortnight and once a week. The most likely never to eat out at a restaurant are those aged over 55 years, 17% of whom never or rarely eat out while 33% eat out less than once a month. 

People in more affluent occupations like ABs (managers and professionals) are the most likely to eat out on a weekly basis. 4 in 10 of ABs eat out every week or more compared to just 2 in 10 of people in other occupations. DEs (unskilled workers and unemployed people) are the most likely to say they do not eat out at all or rarely (23%). C2 (skilled workers) are the most likely to say they eat out less than once a month.

‘Let them eat sushi’

Interestingly both age and class dictate the choice of cuisine.

Younger respondents (18-34) were the most likely to eat exotic food in the past month. 

While 12% of the 18-34 group have ate Indian food, 21% have eaten Chinese and 9% have eaten Sushi; among the general population only 5% have eaten Indian, 12% have eaten Chinese and only 4% have eaten sushi.

Moreover while one-tenth of ABs have been to a Japanese restaurant, fewer than 1% of other occupational groups have done the same. In what could suggest conspicuous consumption, the self-employed are the most likely to go for a steakhouse (18%) or a hotel buffet (10%); while the working classes may be more patriotic or rustic in their food choices, and unskilled workers are the most likely to have gone for Maltese food (14%). 

The survey shows that pizzerias remain the favourite type of restaurant for the Maltese, followed by pasta, Chinese and à la carte restaurants. Chinese and Turkish restaurants appear to be more popular than Maltese eateries. 

The popularity of pizzerias corresponds to the affordable range of the Maltese. In fact 42% say that they can only afford between €10 and €20 per person when they go to a restaurant while 6% afford less than €10. Pizzas fit squarely within this price range. 

Only 13% can afford to spend more than €30 while 38% can afford between €20 and €30 – a range which may permit them to eat out at a Chinese restaurant. Fewer than 1% think that restaurants in Malta are cheap while 16% think they are too expensive. 23% think that restaurants in general give good value for money. But the majority (53%) think that this depends on the restaurant. 

Respondents were briefed that going out to eat at a restaurant means sitting in a place to eat for more than an hour.

Methodology

The survey was held between Monday 22 August and Thursday 26 August. A total of 501 people were contacted. The survey was stopped when a 400 quota sample was reached. Respondents were randomly selected from telephone directories. The results were weighed to reflect the age and gender balance of the population. The survey has a margin of error +/-4.9 percentage points.

Legend

AB Professionals and managers

C1 Technical, clerical and vocational

C2 Skilled Workers

DE Unskilled workers and unemployed

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...