What you need to know

The research shows that some 44% of NI and 50% of RoI consumers eat out at least once a month or more often with Irish men dining out more frequently than women. Italian-style restaurants were found to be the most popular choice amongst Irish consumers, although restaurants serving ethnic and Irish/British style cuisine also recorded a high number of visits.

Irish consumers tend to order mostly from a set menu and visit restaurants for early bird specials, thus highlighting the importance of price. Furthermore, they perceive eating out as a good way of enjoying food that normally is not cooked at home, show their support towards restaurants donating leftovers, and note that a wider variety of portion sizes should be available.

Issues covered in this Report

This Report examines the full-service restaurant market in Ireland NI (Northern Ireland) and RoI (Republic of Ireland). It evaluates the main drivers and trends affecting the market and influencing consumer behaviour. Additionally, the Report draws on consumer research and examines the frequency of eating out and types of restaurants consumers have eaten in. Moreover, it investigates factors that consumers perceive as important when choosing a place to eat in, examines consumers’ behaviours and attitudes towards dining out as well as restaurants.


This Report covers consumers’ attitudes and behaviours surrounding full-service restaurants only, and excludes dining in fast food outlets, cafés, pubs and other casual dining options.

For the purpose of this Report Mintel has used the following definition:

  • Full-service restaurant has been identified as a food establishment with a wide range of food and drink items on the menu while meals are paid for after they are eaten. Full-service restaurants offer table service with orders being taken and brought to customers by waiting staff. The food is consumed primarily on premises, however the popularity of such restaurants offering takeout food is growing given the growth of meal delivery services, and consumer demand for high quality, convenient meals that can be eaten in the comfort of their own home.

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