Millions of Brits now have a weekly takeaway – as they try to make their evenings and weekends more exciting with Chinese and Indian topping the list of favourites

By Floriane Laroche
Monday, 22nd March 2021, 10:30 am
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 10:31 am

New research from 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. 

Chinese was seen as the favourite to a quarter, while a fifth (20 per cent) love an Indian, with pizza, fish and chips and burgers making up the rest of the top five of beloved takeaways. 

However, 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 having ordered Indian dishes, chicken tikka masala was rated as the safest meal, while fish and chips was seen as the least risky of all takeaways.

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    And 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 indulge in two or more a week.

    Julie Daniels, head of rewards at, 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.’’ 

    Something to look forward to

    More than half (52 per cent) admitted ordering a takeaway gives them something to look forward to, with three in 10 getting one 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 one over the last year.

    Before the pandemic, the average adult would order an average of 24 takeaways a year – around once every two weeks – spending more than £550. 

    And of Brits that stick to what they know, 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 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% discount, or more, off all delivery and collection orders, seven days a week.’’  


    1. Chinese
    2. Indian
    3. Pizza
    4. Fish & Chips
    5. Burgers
    6. Italian
    7. English
    8. Thai
    9. Turkish
    10. Mexican 


    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
    20. Lasagne