UK spending on food and drink consumed out of home has outstripped that of at-home consumption, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Spending on eating-out more than doubled between 1992 and 2004, topping £87.5bn in 2004, whereas
the amount of food and drink bought to take home rose by 53.4% to £85.8bn.
Britons spent more on food than on health products and services in the 2004-2005 period.
The figures have been published as part of the ONS's annual exercise to revise and tidy up its data.
The figures reflected a revolution in the nation's eating habits, said Welsh-based pub company Artizan Leisure managing director Phil Thomas.
"Food is definitely the new rock 'n' roll. Turn on the TV at any time and you'll find it full of celebrity chefs.
"That certainly influences people's eating habits - they want new experiences and it's far better to leave it to the professionals, like us, rather than try cooking at home."
And John Rudden, chef/director at the White Hart at Lydgate, Lancashire said: "People are definitely eating out more."