How to win a Brit over on a first date? Order some grilled chicken

uk singles dating nandos
Ambernectar13 / Flickr (Creative Commons)
Where will you find most Brits on their first dates? Chances are, they may end up at chicken joint, Nando’s. That’s according to the latest survey from dating app Clover (via  Munchies), indicating that the South African restaurant chain — which also has locations in the U.S. — is the most popular among 500,000 U.K. users.

Coffee shops, bars, and parks are typical (if predictable) locales for first dates — and still are — but if Clover’s data is correct, it seems today’s love-seeking Brits enjoy a plate of piri-piri flame-grilled chicken while getting to know one another. The survey found men were more inclined to have first dates over a meal, while women still prefer a meet-and-greet over coffee. Regardless, casual restaurants and cafes were the most popular meeting spots for both sexes.

Clover CEO Isaac Raichyk told the Metro newspaper, “We were surprised to see most people choosing to meet at coffee shops and casual restaurants for their first date. We expected fine dining, bars, and nightclubs to rank much higher, but clearly people want to meet in a relaxed environment.”

While surprising, the Metro says it probably shouldn’t be, considering the extensive @NandosUK love expressed on Twitter alone. It seems the restaurant is not just popular for its chicken but for lovebirds. After Nando’s, U.K. singles preferred Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Hyde Park, and Cineworld.

In comparison, after analyzing over 200,000 users, singles in the U.S. prefer first dates at Starbucks, Chipotle, Panera, The Cheesecake Factory, and Texas Roadhouse – in that order. Similar to U.K. users, U.S. women prefer coffee shops and men prefer restaurants or dinner on first dates — in line with Brits’ preference for casual spots. It will be interesting to look at and compare the data in 20 or 30 years, especially when you consider that our grandparents’ lists of preferred first date venues would have likely included a church and a soda shop.

Still, if you’re looking to answer the age-old question, “What should we do?” in the U.K., Nando’s is a safe bet. And for some, based on the number of wedding tweets, meeting at the eatery can result in a pretty successful first date.


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