The UK may be a nation renowned for its good graces, but bad table manners and poor dinner date decorum may be costing British singles their chances of a second date. Research from match.com has found that almost nine out of 10 (88 per cent) singles say their date’s choice of food and their table manners can be make or break for the success of their date. 2
86 per cent of women and 74 per cent of men said that they would turn down a second date if their suitor’s table manners weren’t up to scratch, while over half (56 per cent) of singles find noisy eating the most annoying dining habit. However, the biggest cause of dinner date distress for women is having their food ordered for them, which 61 per cent said they would find irritating.
Britons also need to wise up when it comes to choosing their cuisine and picking from the menu. Italian was voted as the best food for a first date by 29 per cent of respondents, followed by Chinese (10 per cent) and Tapas (6 per cent), but taking a date for fast food was seen as the fastest way to create a bad impression (by 23 per cent of respondents), closely followed by a smelly plate of sushi (14 per cent). Once seated at the table, menu choices such as offal (26 per cent), seafood (18 per cent) or anything involving onion or garlic (16 per cent) can also be a big turn-off.
Even if the dinner is going swimmingly, singles are warned against using their smartphone to share their dating success. Almost half of Brits (45 per cent) say posting on social media would make them lose interest and turn down a second date, while a third would do so if their date texted (35 per cent), took photos of their food (33 per cent) or made or answered calls (33 per cent). 1
To help singles avoid the pitfalls of dinner dating, and to ensure daters are in the mood for love, match.com is creating a brand new Aphrodisiac-based menu which will be available at its match.com social dining events during August. To launch the menu, a pop-up Aphrodisiac Café will be open to members of the public from 11:00 to 14:00 on Thursday 14th August in Soho Square. The Café will offer a selection of foods designed to ignite passion by titillating the tastebuds, and everything on the menu can be trialled free-of-charge by daytime daters, courting couples and inquisitive passers-by.
Kate Taylor, relationship expert for match.com, comments: “The pressure leading up to a first dinner date can build up as there are so many factors to think about – I even hear of some singles going as far as to avoid them altogether! This shouldn’t be the case, as sharing a meal is one of the most important dating rituals we have and the experience of eating together gives you time to learn more about the other person.
“If you’re worried about the conversation drying up, try doing something a bit different, like ordering something unusual or trying something new like a cookery course. This will give you a shared new experience and something to talk about – it’s perfect for putting the spark into a date, whether it’s the first or the 500th.”
To attend the Aphrodisiac café simply pop down to Soho square on the 14th August. Alternatively, match.com members can sign up to one of the match.com socials aphrodisiac dining events by visiting www.match.com/events.
Dinner Date Dos
DO Concentrate more on conversation than food. Having sparkling banter can make up for the most disappointing food, but not vice versa.
DO Compliment your date on their choice of restaurant. They’ll take it (maybe irrationally) personally if you hate it. Find something to compliment, even if it’s just that you like the napkins.
DO Be charming to the waiting staff. Your date will judge you on how you treat other people, and rudeness will leave them cold.
Dinner Date Don’ts
DON’T Scour the menu for hours, leaving your date sitting in silence. If you’re a fussy eater or have allergies, research the menu online first so you can decide in advance what to eat, leaving you more time to chat on the date.
DON’T Criticise your companion’s choice of food. “You’re not really going to order THAT, are you?” is about the least attractive thing you could say. You’re not their parent! Similarly, don’t go on and on about your own eating habits. You’re vegan – good for you. Please let your date enjoy their rare steak in peace.
DON’T Drink to excess. Combined with a heavy meal, the after-effects of too much alcohol could be messy, and unattractive. Pace yourself, and make use of the free water.
Notes to editors
For further information or interviews with match.com’s relationship expert, Kate Taylor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Aphrodisiac Café
The Aphrodisiac Café is a pop-up restaurant in Soho Square, which will be open from 11:00 to 16:00 on 14th August. Members of the public are invited to sample an aphrodisiac-based menu for free and provide their feedback on the dishes.
About match.com socials
Match.com have a full programme of match.com social events available to members across the UK. Here are some examples of foodie events coming up for July/August:
- Foodies Dream dining event
Italian food lovers will enjoy this dining event, in a secret East London location
28th July at 7pm
- Food fan’s Photography masterclass
A photography event for food fanatics at London’s famous foodie heaven, Borough Market
9th August 12 – 2pm
- Aphrodisiac dining event
Try out our brand new Aphrodisiac dining menu at our very first match.com social aphrodisiac dining event
20th August at 7 pm
- Pop up painting
Try painting with a modern twist. Learn to recreate Lichtenstein’s fruit bowl at our pop up painting event in Guildford.
20th August at 7:30pm
- Aphrodisiac dining event
Try our delicious aphrodisiac menu at our relaxed London venue
27th August at 7 pm
Visit www.match.com/events to sign up
Since it was launched in 2009, match.com’s definitive annual LoveGeist study has tracked changing attitudes towards dating and relationships in the UK and Ireland, taking into account the views and attitudes of over 200,000 people. The report has built up a unique picture of what people really care about when it comes to dating and relationships, providing an insight into current and emerging trends.
About the research
1 Opinium survey: Total sample size was 2,001 adults of which 614 are single (i.e. not in a committed relationship). Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st – 3rd July and was carried out online. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.
2 Love Geist – The annual European reference study on singles and dating. The survey was conducted by TNS on behalf of Match.com from 7th to 30th of October 2013. 11, 368 singles between 18 and 65 years in eight European countries were asked (Sweden, Norway, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain): 1504 Singles were interviewed in the UK. Singles were defined as persons who are not in a committed relationship, regardless of their marital status. During analysis the data have been carefully measured to reflect the composition of the number of singles per country based on age and gender. When calculating statistics at a European level, country size and population has been taken in to account.