TheFork, the UK’s best restaurant discovery and booking site, has revealed that going out for a meal is now significantly more cost efficient than hosting dinner parties at home, with diners better off splitting a restaurant bill and saving themselves over £51 compared to buying the ingredients to cook for a group. 

Amid increasing supermarket prices, catering a catch up with friends can be up to 91 percent more expensive compared to dining out together and splitting the bill – not to mention avoiding washing up. Diners can enjoy a three course meal for much less than it would cost one person to host a three-course dinner party for friends and foot the bill. 

Data indicates one of the most expensive cuisines for hosts to cook for guests at home is Greek, costing over £95 to serve up a classic calamari starter, gyros for main and traditional baklava as dessert for a party of six. At an average of only £19 a head in a Greek restaurant, diners can enjoy the full taverna experience at a fifth of the cost of going Greek for a group at home. 

Patrick Hooykaas, Regional Managing Director at TheFork says: “Hosts are being hit with unforeseen costs when catering for friends as although grocery prices are coming down, they continue to be incredibly high in supermarkets.  

‘Many people assume that dining out is a more extravagant option than cooking at home, but our data shows that there are ample affordable restaurants offering delicious food, attentive service and a great atmosphere for groups which can’t be replicated at home. A meal out, split amongst friends takes the financial pressure off a host to spend big at the supermarket and TheFork has seen bookings for large parties increase 49 percent since January as people find smart ways to save.”  

TheFork reveals that cooking a three course dinner at home for a group of six typically costs over £82 for the host, compared to the average cost of a three course meal per head at a restaurant of just over £30.  

With the cost of hosting a dinner party considerably higher, restaurants are adapting menus and seeing an uptake in group bookings as people seek affordable ways to enjoy meals with friends. Venues are also catering to demands by adding home-cooked favourites to menus and facilitating larger booking options by offering private dining rooms.  

8 at The Londoner has taken the at-home experience into its own by offering informal Japanese dining experiences. Charles Oak, Hotel Director at 8 at The Londoner says: “We have seen an uptick in large parties looking to experience an at-home feel when dining, with sofas and lounge seating a favourable choice. It’s great to see from TheFork data that these experiences can be affordable when compared to throwing dinner parties at home.” 

Joanna LaForge, spokesperson for 28-50 Oxford Circus says “With many households needing to save money, along with the rest of the hospitality industry, we know all too well the importance of adapting  to take the current challenging environment into account, while continuing to offer customers affordable, enjoyable dining out experiences. 

“The data available from TheFork is invaluable in business planning and strategy. The Fork provides us insight into what customers are seeking, as well as tapping into our own customer-first, local expertise. It’s great to see that clients are making the most of the special offers that The Fork has to offer and still being able to enjoy eating out.” 

Different cuisines vary in cost, but the added benefits of dining at a restaurant include the ambience, food discovery and exceptional service, which all helps to create memorable dining experiences with family or friends.

Patrick Hooykaas, Regional Managing Director at TheFork went on to say “In general, it is of course likely to cost higher per head to eat out rather than stay in. However, the reality is that the dinner party host foots the entire bill and, with high grocery prices, this means hosting has become increasingly unaffordable. In addition to this, the benefits of eating out such as not having to cook or wash up, the incredible service and the beautiful ambience, makes the small difference in price per head pale into insignificance.”

TheFork is a trusted business partner, helping restaurants streamline operations and welcome more diners. Its insights provide restaurateurs with the tools to boost revenue and minimise no-shows and the ability to showcase restaurants to millions of potential diners.