Culture of eating out with family & friends in Singapore

Goals

To find out about the culture of eating out with family and friends in Singapore for a payment campaign. The information required include: if it's driven by certain occasions, methods of payment, and who pays the bill.

Early Findings

Frequency of eating out

  • According to Nielson, eating out in Singapore is no longer reserved for only special occasions and is becoming a way of life for consumers.
  • Almost one in four respondents (24%) have stated that they eat out daily and more than half (55%) eat out weekly.
  • Based on the same survey, dinner was the meal that was mostly eaten out of home (72%), followed by lunch (66%). Breakfast was less likely to be consumed out of home (15%).
  • Slightly different findings have been reported by a study conducted by the NEA, where 85% of Singaporean residents eat out at least once a week and 10% eat out daily.
  • According to Trip Savvy, 80-85% of Singaporeans eat hawker food regularly.

Methods of payment

  • According to Straits Times, some hawker centers (food courts) in Singapore have stated that up to 40% of customers pay using e-payment systems, while for others the number is only 20%. Many diners say that they still prefer to pay in cash, despite the many cashless options available.
  • Another article from Straits Times has reported that according to a survey conducted by Visa, 87% of Singaporeans prefer electronic payments over cash, up by 11% compared to the previous year. 40% of the total transactions in the country are made through cash and cheques.
  • The article further notes that certain segments in Singapore, such as hawker centers, food courts, and wet markets are heavily cash-based.

Bill settlement

  • There was limited information available relating to who pays the bill when eating out in Singapore and no survey findings were found on this specific topic.
  • A blogpost states that most restaurants in Singapore don't split bills individually. And according to another article, fighting to pay the bill at mealtimes is a stereotypical Asian habit. Based on the comments left on this article, splitting the bill in Singapore is not the norm.
  • According to Grand Tourism Travels, the Asian etiquette is for the host to pay for meals. It is not common to split the bill.

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