Estonia: Decline in Dining Out Among Large Families

Recent Survey Reveals Decline in Dining Out Due to Rising Costs

In a recent survey conducted by the Estonian Association of Large Families, it was found that the majority of Estonian families decide where to dine out based on the price range. A significant 87% of families admitted to dining out considerably less compared to six months ago, citing a sudden increase in prices and reductions in family support benefits.

Families with three or more children typically dine out together an average of once a month or even less frequently. Recent price spikes and cuts in support for large families have noticeably reduced the frequency of dining out. While half of the participants dined out at least once a month six months ago, in November of this year, that number had dropped to once or twice a year.

“For large families, dining out is a significant expense. Due to inflation, restaurants have had to raise their prices, coupled with recent cuts in support for large families, the decline in the number of family outings to restaurants is entirely understandable,” stated Aage Õunap, President of the Estonian Association of Large Families.

Although the majority of large families consider a price range of 20-50 euros per dining out occasion affordable, the survey revealed that on average, a family with at least three children spends up to 100 euros when dining out. As a result, dining out with the family is mainly reserved for special occasions or celebrations.

Similar patterns were observed with regards to ordering food for home delivery. Most respondents confirmed that they only order food when they are unable to cook for themselves or for important occasions. Interestingly, a majority (57%) stated that they do not order food for delivery at all, and less than a quarter of respondents admitted to ordering food for delivery only a few times a year.

When choosing a place to eat, families primarily focus on the price range, in addition to considering a child-friendly menu, location, activities for children, and family-friendly service. In an effort to highlight family-friendly dining establishments, the association recognized 48 such places across Estonia with a special designation earlier this year, encouraging families with children to dine there.

“With this designation, we aim to provide families with a reliable compass to navigate the Estonian restaurant landscape, showcasing places where it’s always enjoyable to dine with the family,” said Õunap, mentioning the plan to continue issuing the designation in the coming year.

The survey, conducted by the Estonian Association of Large Families in November, involved a total of 428 large families from across Estonia. In Estonia, a family is considered ‘large’ when it has at least three children.

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