Which country has the biggest appetite for eating out?

By BÉRANGÈRE CHATELAIN / Pic AFP

PEOPLE in Spain eat out an average of 4.3 times a week according to data published by catering industry specialists Gira, coinciding with the publication of a vast report from SIAL, the global food industry trade fair rescheduled for 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fuelled by their tasty tapas culture — which encourages workers to head out after work for a drink and a few plates of ham croquettes, patatas bravas and various other pintxos — the Spanish are by no means holding back when it comes to eating out, beating the Canadians (3.8 times), the Americans (3.6 times) and the French (2 times).

Yet, the Spanish aren’t the biggest spenders. The average bill for a meal bought outside the home comes in at US$8.60 in Spain, compared to US$15.50 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — the highest of the countries surveyed.

Eating out can be costly in the UK too (US$15.10). France comes third-highest for the cost of eating out with an average bill of US$12.40.

But since the Spanish are keenest to eat out, their annual budget is logically higher, at US$1,931 compared to US$1,820 in the US and US$1,584 in the UAE. The French are far from being the biggest spenders when it comes to eating out, with an average annual budget of US$1,319 per person.