One third of Aussies hungry for friendship with their food: research
While Australia’s love affair with fine food is no secret, the nation also has a rather insatiable appetite for the social side of dining, according to new research by CHEFIN’, a Sydney and Melbourne-based community where passionate private chefs create authentic meals for dinner party hosts.
The study revealed 32 per cent of Australians organised a food-related event or party with family, friends or colleagues in the past month. Younger people were even busier wining and dining, with the figure rising to 40 per cent among 18 to 34-year-olds.
Meeting, greeting, eating
"These results confirm something we have thought for a while – Australians enjoy different cuisines from all around the world, but just as importantly we crave the social connection of meeting, greeting and eating with the people we're close to," said Sukey Xu, Co-Founder of CHEFIN' and self-confessed 'social foodie'.
Ten per cent of people picked their last meal because it was the best choice for the group (family, friends or colleagues), while seven per cent were planning something special as a treat or celebration.
"Our team is inspired by the creative process that goes into cooking fresh, quality dishes. We love watching a chef in action, talking about ingredients and methods and flavours, and of course eating delicious food! For us it's very much a shared experience, and we believe a lot of Australians feel the same way," said Xu.
Sharing is caring
It's not just the meal itself that offers a shared experience. When it comes to planning what to eat, people stick together. During the decision-making process, 35 per cent of consumers search for recommendations among their personal contacts, 24 per cent read restaurant reviews, and 10 per cent read food blogs or forums. Recommendations play an even bigger role for 18 to 24-year-olds, with 52 per cent seeking out opinions before committing to a meal or venue.
In the past month 70 per cent of people dined out and 72 per cent ordered take-away food. Interestingly, one in five Australians (21 per cent) would prefer to have a chef or somebody else cook meals for them. And one third of Australians said they needed help with meal planning and organisation.