Restaurateurs see growth in bar dining

  • Almost one fifth of restaurants that do not currently have a bar are looking to invest in one
  • 55% of diners would go to a restaurant specifically for their bar menu
  • A quarter of diners would dine in a high-priced restaurant’s bar area before deciding to invest in a meal in the restaurant
  • 61% of diners are more likely to visit a restaurant if it has a welcoming bar area

London, 9 March 2016… New research by OpenTable, the world’s leading restaurant booking service, highlights the growing popularity of bar side dining, as well as reporting a rise in UK restaurateurs investing in bar areas and menus.

The survey of more than 1,300 UK diners and restaurateurs revealed that 81% of consumers enjoy bar dining and 61% would be more likely to visit a restaurant if it had a welcoming bar area. Over half of diners (55%) would even visit a restaurant specifically for their bar menu. Additionally, a quarter of diners (26%) would prefer to dine in a high-priced restaurants bar area before deciding to invest in a meal in the restaurant.

This diner behaviour may explain why almost one fifth (19%) of restaurants that do not currently house a bar are looking to invest in one. The key incentives highlighted for this appetite to invest were the ability to offer a varied price point menu, provide a different experience for customers and host private parties.

A further reason restaurants are investing in their bar area is to try and keep guests in their restaurant for a longer period. With 68% of diners admitting they would be more likely to spend the entire evening in one location if the restaurant offered a great bar area, this may be a wise move.

Of those restaurants surveyed that currently have a bar, 65% either have, or are planning to invest in the area in the next 12 months and almost half (49%) of restaurateurs with a bar are planning on increasing their marketing to promote bar dining in the next 12 months.

As well as investing in the area itself, it appears the majority (67%) of restaurateurs are also investing in the bar menu. The main motivations for this are to test menu concepts, offer a varied price point, offer a different menu, stay ahead of trends and to remain competitive.

Mike Xenakis, Managing Director at OpenTable, comments, “The trend for bar dining is something we have seen coming through in our discussions with our restaurant partners over the past few months, and it’s interesting to see that the wider dining community is tapping into this too. A great bar area not only acts as the gateway to a restaurant but is an area where chefs can test menu concepts and stay ahead of the trends.”

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For more information or to talk to an OpenTable spokesperson please contact: / 020 7291 3030 / 020 7291 3041



  1. OpenTable proprietary data. OpenTable surveyed more than 1,300 UK diners and restaurateurs in January 2016

About OpenTable:

OpenTable, part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 17 million diners per month via online bookings across more than 33,000 restaurants. The OpenTable network connects restaurants and diners, helping diners discover and book the perfect table and helping restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back. The OpenTable service enables diners to see which restaurants have available tables, select a restaurant based on verified diner reviews, menus, and other helpful information, and easily book a reservation. In addition to the company’s website and mobile apps, OpenTable powers online reservations for nearly 600 partners, including many of the Internet’s most popular global and local brands. For restaurants, the OpenTable hospitality solutions enable them to manage their reservation book, streamline their operations, and enhance their service levels. Since its inception in 1998, OpenTable has seated more than 940 million diners around the world.  OpenTable is headquartered in San Francisco and available throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the UK.