The report, conducted by the consumer intelligence agency between February and April this year, also found that 33% of Brits ordered a takeaway once a week or more in the past three months and 31% of people ate in a restaurant once a week or more over the same period.
Despite these figures, over half (55%) of Brits said they have tried to lose weight over the past year, although just 8% of all diners say they look for a healthy option when dinning out for a special occasion – with 43% of people saying they instead look for something indulgent.
The eating out market is predicted to reach £33.5 billion in 2014 – seeing a 3% year on year rise.
Mintel’s latest research shows that one in ten (11%) UK diners eat in a restaurant more than once a week with Londoners topping this trend as one in five (21%) claim to eat in a restaurant more than once a week.
Although Londoners eat out the most, figures show that they are more interested in healthy eating trends as 19% say they prefer dishes which include superfoods as opposed to low-calorie dishes and 20% claim they would order more high protein dishes if they were on the menu.
It seems operators stand to risk little by adding calorie information and labels on menus as less than one in ten (8%) say they would avoid venues that do this.
Helena Childe, senior foodservice analyst at Mintel said: “Whilst there is little widespread demand for health, some operators could leverage it to more proactively chase their share of the leisure pound, through targeted promotions for example.
“There is also an opportunity in breakfast and lunch products and in the ethnic sector in particular for operators to use healthy eating facets to grow sales.”
The report also highlights good news for pubs, with the majority of Brits preferring this type of venue when eating out.
Research shows that one in five (60%) diners have eaten in or ordered food to go from a pub within the last three months up to April 2014.
In relation to this, pub catering has performed strongly with sales up 6% on 2012 having risen from £6.6 billion to £7 billion.
The report also shows more customers are watching what they spend, as a third (32%) said they have used money-off or discount vouchers from a restaurant within the past three months with this figure rising to 39% among those who earn over £50,000 a year.