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Valentine’s Day is always a winner for the food industry, but restaurants took a hit across the UK at the weekend as couples admitted to staying in with a ‘cheaper’ takeaway instead, according to research by Britain’s leading online takeaway site.

For many, Valentine’s Day is synonymous with going out with your partner for a romantic meal, but this year, research over the weekend and yesterday involving 1,108 people has found that 3 in 4 couples stayed at home, with many choosing to order a takeaway instead.

Research by www.Just-Eat.co.uk, the UK’s leading takeaway ordering website found that 1 in 3 couples sat down to a takeaway together on Saturday evening to celebrate the romantic day.

Restaurant visits have declined this year compared to last, as when asked “Did you go out to a meal last year with your partner for Valentine’s Day?” just over half, 52%, said ‘yes’, compared to just 24% who answered to going out to a restaurant together this year.

The Credit Crunch has had a huge impact on the custom - when asked ‘If you didn’t go out for a meal this year, what is the main reason?” 68% of participants claimed ‘Expense’ was the deciding factor. Other answers included ‘Didn’t want to’, with 14% and ‘Booked too late’, with 10%.

The takeaway the majority of couples sat down to together was curry, according to order stats from the site, accounting for over half of meals delivered. Chinese was second, with 23% of couples enjoying the Oriental option on the evening of Valentine’s Day. Just-Eat released information regarding the takeaway meals with the most ‘aphrodisiac’ ingredients in them last year, with Thai Green Curry topping the list. Interestingly, Thai Green Curry sales rose nearly 250% compared to a normal Saturday.

David Buttress, CEO of Just-Eat.co.uk had the following to say,

“Our own sales stats proved that Valentine’s Day this year was definitely affected by the recession. Saturday was the busiest day we’ve ever had, eclipsing even New Year, our previous record.

“You can have just as great a time with your partner at home sharing a takeaway meal as you can at restaurants, especially when the purse-strings are tight but you still want a meal cooked for you.

“It’s no real surprise that many couples decided against wining and dining, as when at home, eating a meal in the comfort of your own living room, you control how much you spend more stringently, not tempted by the drinks that restaurants often charge over-the-odds for.”

www.Just-Eat.co.uk is the UK branch of the highly successful European model, which provides an average of more than 30,000 meals for customers in any given 24 hours. Just-Eat have a strategic partnership with Coca Cola.

The service supplies customers with a large directory of varied restaurants and eateries in their area, which when selected provide the user with a full, up-to-date menu including prices. The site also gives the customer an estimated delivery time, as well as beverage options.

ENDS

For further information, or to arrange interviews or case studies, please contact Rich Leigh, of 10 Yetis Public Relations Agency on 01452 348 211 or at rich@10yetis.co.uk. Find me on Twitter @RichLeighSmith

EDITORS NOTES:

*In terms of sales and unique visitors

Just-Eat have received and dealt with more than 7,000,000 meal orders

Just-Eat has over 2000 restaurants signed up to its UK site and uses it’s patented Just-Eat technology to offering a seamless on-line ordering service including latest menu’s, over 40,000 customer reviews, secure card ordering and automatic confirmation of orders and delivery times.

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