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Majority of Brits agree the last meal of the day should be called ‘dinner’, suggests survey

29th Jan 2020 - 09:43
A nationwide survey has found that the majority of Brits (54%) agree that the last meal of the day should be called ‘dinner’.

Four in tens Brits (40%) still refer to it as ‘tea’, while just 5% of people call it ‘supper’. Over a quarter of Brits believe if you call the last meal of the day ‘supper’ you are considered posh and the same number believe if you call it ‘tea’ you are Northern. 

The study was on 2,000 Brits and it was commissioned by online polling firm Ginger research on behalf of Travelodge in January 2020. The research found that 43% of people think what you call your evening meal depends on where you live in the UK. 

Historically the word ‘dinner’ was associated with the largest meal of the day regardless of when the meal was consumed. 

One in five Brits insist the term ‘tea’ refers to a cup of tea and a biscuit, while 10% assume ‘tea’ is a light meal between the hours of 4pm and 6pm. 

Shakila Ahmed, a Travelodge spokesperson, said: “We have over 200 restaurants in our hotels across the UK and our Bar Café team members regularly debate whether the evening meal should be called dinner or tea. 

“Therefore, we thought it would be interesting to put this age- old argument to bed by asking the nation.  Interestingly our research findings show opinion is clearly divided across the country. However, dinner is growing in popularity.”

The average UK family eats their last meal of the day around 7pm, with 25% claiming it is ‘old-fashioned or uncool’ to eat before 5pm. There are an estimated 6% of Brits who eat their last meal of the day at their work desk. 

The research also found that 27% of respondents said they didn’t like the trend of feeding children separately to adults, as the family should have meals together. 

An argumentative one in ten Brits have even fallen out with a colleague or friend about the correct term to use when naming their last meal of the day. 

Selected UK cities and what they call the final meal of the day:

  • Birmingham - dinner (49%)
  • Brighton - dinner (82%)
  • Bristol - tea (52%)
  • Cambridge - dinner (64%)
  • Cardiff - tea (47%)
  • Edinburgh - dinner (74%)
  • Glasgow - dinner (74%)
  • Leeds - tea (61%)
  • Leicester - tea (71%)
  • Liverpool - tea (58%)
  • London - dinner (80%)
  • Manchester - tea (67%)
  • Newcastle - tea (66%)
  • Nottingham - tea (51%)
  • Oxford - dinner (70%)
Written by
Edward Waddell