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Britons only wait 16 minutes in restaurants before leaving

02 April 2014

Britons will only wait an average of 15 minutes and 42 seconds before leaving a restaurant after not being served.

That's according to new research from global hospitality technology provider Omnico Group.

The findings came from a survey of 5,000 UK consumers, conducted by Peach Factory for Omnico Group.

It also found that on average, diners are only willing to wait 6 minutes and 18 seconds without being served at fast food chains such as McDonald's and Subway.

In pubs, diners are only willing to wait an average of 12 minutes 27 seconds without being served, before going elsewhere.

And Britons were also revealed to be more patient waiting for a coffee than waiting for a sandwich (6 minutes 2 seconds vs 5 minutes 34 seconds).

They will wait slightly longer when ordering drinks at a bar or pub, willing to linger up to 7 minutes 51 seconds before giving up.

The East Midlands is home to those with the most perseverance in restaurants, willing to wait on average 16 minutes 39 seconds before leaving, followed closely by Londoners (16 minutes 22 seconds). Welsh diners are the least patient and will only endure 14 minutes and 16 seconds before leaving. For a fast food fix, Londoners are most patient, willing to wait 7 minutes 22 seconds before leaving.

Women are far more enduring than men when waiting for any kind of food or drink, beating men in every single outlet type. When eating out at restaurants, on average, women are happy to wait up to 16 minutes and 19 seconds, with men only wanting to stay for 14 minutes and 49 seconds.

"Whether diners are waiting to be seated, looking for the waiter to take their order or simply in a queue, they have a limit," said Steve Thomas chief technology officer at Omnico Group. "Sixteen minutes might seem a long time for hospitality outlets to leave their patrons waiting, but in reality, it's no time at all and a lengthy wait can impact loyalty and customer experience. Speedy service aided by innovative technology, such as mobile Point of Sale, can help to bust these queues, reduce waiting times and ensure customers are getting the best dining experience."

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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