House PR-OpenTable research: UK restaurant diners ‘Go Dutch’ to avoid appearing stingy

By House PR – brand communications PR london

According to research by a major online restaurant booking firm and the PR agency House PR, an astonishing third of all restaurant diners in the UK opt for splitting the bill evenly at the end of their meal with the rest of their table because they fear looking stingy if they don’t.

OpenTable and House PR say that a study into dining habits reveals that 38% of UK restaurant customers agree to “Go Dutch” because there are more concerned with how not doing so will make them look in the eyes of the people they eat with than with the extra costs they incur.

And the costs are significant: just under £9 per meal, or a breathtaking £33,000 over a lifetime, enough to put down as a downpayment for an average UK property.

These findings about restaurant diners’ concern about they are perceived by their fellow diners received widespread online media coverage, including in the online editions of the UK’s leading redtops – The Sun and The Daily Mirror.

The study also indicated that the practice of “Going Dutch” was very prevalent, with over 65% of restaurant diners in the UK going for this option when their bill arrives.

For 58% of subjects in the research, the main reason is convenience and almost a third of restaurants say that they go out their way to facilitate this choice of payment.

Of those diners who don’t “Go Dutch”, the main reasons cited were not wanting to pay for fellow diners who order more than the average spend on alcoholic drinks (54%) or on food (49%). And 27% said they eschewed splitting the bill evenly when they weren’t eating with very good friends.

Surprisingly, there are other losers when restaurant diners “Go Dutch”: waiting staff receive much smaller tips. 23% of customers say they leave smaller gratuities when their table “Goes Dutch”, a figure confirmed by nearly half all restaurants in the research.

OpenTable Europe’s Adrian Valeriano admits that despite the convenience of “Going Dutch”, in fact both a significant number of customers and restaurants are worse off because of this practice. He confirms that restaurants are noting that tables that “Go Dutch” tip less.

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UK cinemagoers vote for their favourite onscreen animals

By House PR – Entertainment PR London

To promote the upcoming release in July of the new film, The Secret Life of Pets, House PR and Empire Cinemas have organised exclusive research among cinemagoers about their choice of their favourite movie animals.

The Secret Life of Pets is an animated feature film that describes what our beloved pets get up to when they’re left to their own devices once we head out the door at the beginning of our working days.

Empire Cinemas is one of the UK’s biggest cinema chains and in collaboration with House PR, its research into cinemagoers’ choice of favourite movie animal reveals that the Donkey in the Shrek films, which was voiced by superstar Eddie Murphy, came out tops with an approval rating of 27%.

In second place, 22% of cinemagoers looked to the movie hit The Lion King and voted for Simba. Here though, preferences were obvious divided around the age of cinemagoers: in the 18-24 bracket, Simba attracted a third of votes, while for the over 50s, Lassie attracted just under 30% of votes.

The dopey character Dory from the films Finding Nemo and the soon to be released Finding Dory came in third position and the global appeal of the recent remake of The Jungle Book reminded moviegoers of how much they loved the character Baloo bear, the latter attracting 20% of votes cast.

The research also pointed to the fact that voting choices were split along gender lines. 50% more women said they loved the Winnie the Pooh character Eeyore and more than twice as many women were totally taken by the pet pooch Marley from the movie hit Marley and Me.

Jon Nutton is Empire Cinemas’ Marketing Director. He says animals make for some of the very best movie characters thanks to their enduring appeal. Moreover, this appeal reaches across the wide technological spectrum of cinema – from animated features such as The Lion King and The Jungle Book to real-life animals in movie hits such as Homeward Bound. He believes that this reflects humanity’s unique historic relationship with their domestic animals.

The Secret Life of Pets is an animated co-production between Universal Studios and Illumination Entertainment and stars the voices of comic stars Kevin Hart, Louis CK and Eric Stonestreet.

The Secret Life of Pets is the fifth movie collaboration of the two companies and features as director Chris Renaud, who directed Despicable Me and its sequel, Despicable Me 2.

Restaurant review: Dishoom Carnaby

Review by Ginny Paton

FACTFILE

  • Venue: Dishoom, Carnaby, 22 Kingly Street, London W1B 5QP
  • Cost: £100 for two excluding wine
  • Food: 10/10
  • Service: 7/10
  • Ease of booking table: 10/10
  • Overall: 9/10

House PR MD Ginny Paton marks out this new Indian venue in central London as one of her new favourite places for taking clients to

Entering Dishoom’s Bombay-style café in central London’s Carnaby Street is a bit like suddenly finding yourself in one of India’s famed spice markets, one’s senses overwhelmed by a complex collection of exotic fragrances.

The venue is in fact the fourth in the restaurant’s chain in London and plans are afoot to expand UK-wide.

The philosophy of the brand dates back to when Zoroastrian migrants from Persia settled in India and there created a uniquely democratic type of eaterie where all were welcome, from cab drivers to business moguls.

Dishoom-20160608105628346The Carnaby Street branch is decorated with many reminders of the strong links between India and the British capital stretching back centuries.

We were somewhat taken aback when our waiter took our order of 10+ dishes without writing any of it down. Was he some kind of memory genius? Unsurprisingly he came back, pad in hand 5 minutes later, and asked us to repeat what we wanted. Would we also be underwhelmed by the food?

An emphatic no. We were blown away, not only by the succulent dishes, but also with the theatrical high drama every time each was brought to our table.

I highly recommend a heavily spiced chickpea dish called Chloe Bhatura and French fries made from okra. And the Pau bhajis were an absolute delight, so far removed from the bland supermarket kind I felt I was eating them in an Indian street market.

Overall, Dishoom Carnaby would push all the right buttons for clients and personally I can’t wait for a return visit so I can savour some of the other dishes of this venue’s amazing menu.

Well done, Dishoom!