New research from comparethemarket.com of 2,000 adults found that since the first lockdown began in March 2020, 42 per cent have increased the number of takeaways they have been ordering.
Over the past year, more than a quarter (28 per cent) have been enjoying a takeaway once a week – amounting to a total spend of £1,248 a year.
While more than one in 10 indulged in two or more a week.
More than half (52 per cent) admitted it gives them something to look forward to, with three in 10 ordering in to make their weekends feel more special than the rest of the week.
Almost half (45 per cent) of all adults have also celebrated a life milestone with a takeaway over the last year.
Julie Daniels, head of rewards at comparethemarket.com, which commissioned the research following the expansion of its takeaway and delivery customer reward, said: “During the past year, with so many activities restricted, getting a takeaway has been a high point for many of us – and we are spending more than ever on them as a result.
“Our results clearly show that takeaways are all about comfort and familiarity. They can offer something to look forward to and add some variety to the week.
‘’Whether that is playing it safe with a tried and tested favourite, or trying out something new, Meerkat Meals aims to bring extra joy to mealtimes for our customers.’’
Before the pandemic, the average adult would order an average of 24 takeaways a year – around once every two weeks – spending more than £550 in total.
The study also found Chinese (25 per cent) was the most popular takeaway, followed by Indian (20 per cent) and pizza (18 per cent).
But nearly eight in 10 admitted they stay within their comfort zones and stick to their ‘usual’ dishes when they’re deciding on their order.
With 52 per cent ordering Indian dishes, chicken tikka masala was rated as the safest meal to order, while fish and chips was seen as the least risky of all takeaways.
Three in 10 don’t want to risk spending money on something they might not like – while 21 per cent are simply ‘afraid of change’.
More than a tenth feel ‘crushed’ when they do branch out from their usual order with negative results, while 14 per cent get genuinely upset by it.
For another one in 10, if they regretted their dinner decision, they’d put it right the very next day by ordering a different one.
It also emerged three quarters of those polled are also takeaway-loyal – ordering from the same restaurant time after time.
Julie Daniels added: ‘’To meet the nation’s demand for great takeaway food, we at comparethemarket.com have expanded our Meerkat Meals reward to give our customers even more choice.
‘’In addition to 50 per cent off pizzas at Papa John’s and Pizza Hut delivery, we’ve added over 1,000 local takeaways to our Meerkat app. Customers can now enjoy a minimum 10 per cent discount, or more, off all delivery and collection orders, seven days a week.’’
BRITS TOP 20 ‘SAFE’ TAKEAWAY CHOICES
1. Fish and chips
2. Chow mein
3. Chicken tikka masala
4. Sweet and sour chicken/pork
5. Chicken korma
6. Beef burger
7. Chicken balls
8. Doner kebab
9. Chicken burger
10. Shredded crispy chilli beef/pork
11. Rogan Josh
12. Butter chicken
13. Chicken in black bean sauce
14. Chicken madras
15. Lemon chicken
16. Thai green curry
17. Steak and chips
18. Peking roasted duck
19. Pad Thai