It’s February and restaurants, bars, brasseries, pubs, hotels and eateries of all descriptions are set for one of the busiest nights of the year on the 14th when loved-up couples head out for an intimate dinner a deux to celebrate Valentine’s night. But it might not be as cosy and romantic as we think…
According to recent research, one in five of us have been left red-faced by our partner’s behaviour when eating out. The study, carried out by Subway, also revealed that while their partners might be lacking in manners, 40% of the 2,000 polled would never complain if a food order wasn’t right or tasted bad, with the average person munching through 36 meals out every year that are far from their liking.
So what makes us see red?
Struggling to pronounce an order correctly, clicking fingers at staff, being on the phone when ordering or speaking with their mouth full were among the top bugbears. Here are the top 10 reasons for being angry with your partner when dining out:
1. Sent back an order
2. Complained about the service
3. Negotiate substitutes e.g. swapping an egg for an extra rasher of bacon
4. Ordered a dish that wasn’t on the menu
5. Asked for ketchup
6. They clicked at serving staff
7. They complained about the food
8. They mispronounced something off the menu
9. Ordered too much food – they were greedy
10. Refused to pay for their order
Despite the results of the research, it has been shown that the more often people eat with others, the more likely they are to be satisfied with their life and feel happy. Busy lives and hectic work routines mean many meals are now solitary affairs rather than social events with family, friends or work colleagues. On average in a typical week we eat four breakfasts, four lunches and two evening meals alone. And over a third of people can go a whole week without eating a meal alongside someone else.
Oxford University’s Professor of Psychology, Robin Dunbar, who analysed the results of the survey into eating habits, which was commissioned by The Big Lunch, said: “The act of eating together triggers the endorphin system in the brain and endorphins play an important role in social bonding in humans.
“Taking the time to sit down together over a meal helps create social networks that in turn have profound effects on our physical and mental health, our happiness and wellbeing, and even our sense of purpose in life.”