Eating out in Spain: Motivations, sociability and consumer contexts

Appetite. 2017 Dec 1;119:14-22. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.03.047. Epub 2017 Apr 1.


Eating out is a consumer practice which is difficult to define. The study of this practice has traditionally been based on the work/leisure dichotomy. However, in Spain this is not so clear. If we analyse profiles, motivations, places and relationships, we discover an eating-out food model which is specific to Spain and in which food is not limited by this dual link with work and leisure. Eating linked to work does not respond only to instrumental needs. Leisure eating is not always a choice based on preference. Both contain a strong element of sociability which acts as a motivator and are linked to the familisme of Spanish society, whilst at the same time de-routinizing daily life, both at home and at work. This study is based on a national survey carried out in 2014 and helps to understand this consumer practice and those elements which are specific to Spain.

Keywords: Eating out; Food consumption; Food culture; Sociology of food; Sociology of the menu.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Culture*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Leisure Activities
  • Male
  • Meals*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Restaurants*
  • Spain
  • Work
  • Young Adult