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Watch out Waiters: Brits Fight Back in Restaurants

LONDON, U.K. – 11 October, 2010 – TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, today announced the results of its pan-European Food on Holiday Survey.  With over half (53%) of Brits considering a gastro getaway in the next 12 months, and a third (31%) claiming to have chosen a hotel based purely on its foodie reputation, it’s clear the nation’s gastronomic holiday habits have changed dramatically over the last few years.

The TripAdvisor Food On Holiday Survey, carried out with over 3,000 European travellers, reveals that Brits are the most adventurous in Europe when it comes to food. “Our research not only shows that British travellers should no longer be the butt of culinary jokes but also that Brits are no longer prepared to ‘put up and shut up’ when faced with bad food,” explains TripAdvisor spokesperson, Emma O’Boyle.

When Good Food Goes Bad

With news last week that a Bulgarian hotel has been sued by almost 300 British holidaymakers after they were struck down by a gastric illness, it’s perhaps no surprise that the TripAdvisor survey found:

·         Over a third (36%) of Brits has had their holiday ruined by a bad food experience.

·         Half (48%) of Brits have experienced undercooked food while dining out on holiday, 12% have encountered dirty premises, 10% found insects in their food and 6% a hair.

‘Reserved Brits’ Now First to Complain

Dining out on holiday should be a pleasurable experience but what happens when things go wrong? The TripAdvisor Food on Holiday survey unearthed some surprises. Despite the British reputation for not complaining it is actually the Italians who are most likely to say nothing if unhappy with a meal:

·         Only 11% of Brits would keep quiet if unhappy compared to 34% of Italians and 26% of Spanish. Only German diners are less likely to keep quiet (9%).

·         Just 8% of Brits have ever left a restaurant on holiday without paying the bill, but that is still more than most of our European cousins – less than 4% of German, Italian and Spanish holidaymakers have done so.

·         One in 10 Brits would ask to speak to the chef if unhappy, compared to a more confrontational 33% of French diners.

Chips? No Thanks, I’ll Have The Fried Tarantula

The research also reveals that the stereotype of British holidaymakers stuffing their suitcase with tea bags and baked beans is no more. British tourists are actually the most adventurous in Europe when it comes to trying bizarre local delicacies:

·         When faced with the prospect of sampling delights such as sheep eyes, fried tarantulas, camel humps and jellyfish less than a fifth (17%) said they would not try any of it.

·         Compare this to a horrified two thirds (64%) of Italians and a third (33%) of Germans.

“Holidays provide a perfect opportunity for trying new foods and it’s great to see British travellers embracing local delicacies. For years other nationalities have derided the British taste buds reluctance to try new cuisines. Let’s hope this marks the demise of the old ‘chips with everything’ reputation,” continued TripAdvisor’s Emma O’Boyle.


For further information please contact:

Emma O’Boyle, TripAdvisor

020 3320 3210 / 0777 926 2423 /

Notes to editors

3,291 respondents (including 1015 Britons) took part in the TripAdvisor survey (September 2010)