One in four diners will choose a restaurant because they "regularly go there" according to new data from global information company the NPD Group.
This amounts to more than 2.8 billion visits per year in Britain, which NPD describes as "habitual".
It claims that habitual visits account for £12.6b of out-of-home consumer spending per year, a figure that has risen by 13.4% in the two years to November 2017, while overall out-of-home spending has grown by less than half this rate (6.6%).
The data also showed that loyalty cards and point schemes are important in driving consumers to coffee shops, where they are three times more likely to be used than in the total out-of-home market.
Levels of habitual visits involving an app that allows the customer to order ahead for pick up in store are currently much lower (17%) than the overall market (24%). Currently accounting for 146 million visits a year, app visits are predicted to account for 28% of total eating out market growth over the next two years, reaching almost 200 million visits a year by 2019.
Data for the year ending November 2017 also showed that consumers were drawn to the location (37%) as well as good pricing (24%).
Cyril Lavenant, foodservice director UK at the NPD Group, said that with so much choice for eating out, customers should be "promiscuous" and never settle for a favourite.
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