How smartphones are changing the way we eat

More and more people are using their phones while eating out.
More and more people are using their phones while eating out.

Using a phone at the dinner table was frowned upon as anti-social not so long ago, but now it's much more common.

It's so normal, in fact, that 18 per cent of Brits admitting to checking their phones three or more times when they're having a meal at a restaurant.

How smartphones are changing the way we eat out.

How smartphones are changing the way we eat out.

With a third of people eating out more often than they did 10 years ago, and 93 per cent of UK adults owning or using a mobile, sharing an ‘eating experience’ is easier than ever.

So the fact that as a nation we are becoming more snap-happy is also no surprise.

27 per cent of restaurant visitors say they always or frequently use their phone to take a photo while eating, and 17 per cent admit to posting restaurant visits on social media.

‘Checking in’ to a restaurant via social media is also a common way for diners to register where they are eating.

The go-to app for sharing content from smartphones is Twitter, with 63 per cent of diners using it to tell the world what and where they are eating.

There are more practical reasons for smartphone use when dining out - 12 per cent of those surveyed have used their phone for mobile payment at a restaurant.

Social media can also be the first port of call for unhappy customers.with 7 per cent telling others about negative meals out.

Andre Johnstone, head of digital and loyalty at Wagamama, said: “Eating is one thing that everyone has in common and taking photos of amazing food is so appealing - particularly as the world is broadening its tastes, and people are trying dishes that they haven’t tried before.”

Matt Turner of Tastecard, the UK’s biggest discount dining club, agreed, saying: "Mobile has continued to grow across many different fields, but the restaurant industry in particular has seen a massive impact.

"From checking in to restaurants to sharing pictures of our food, phones are involved in every step of the eating out process.

"With people wanting to use their phones more and more for day-to-day tasks, it makes sense that they would want a range of discounts available at their fingertips."