Ministry says dining alone is next year’s trend

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Ministry says dining alone is next year’s trend

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has pointed to dining alone as one of the eating-out trends of next year, along with premium fast food.

In a survey of 3,040 people conducted by the ministry, 56.6 percent said they had experience eating alone at restaurants an average of 6.5 times a month.

“The solo trend not only means people will eat alone at restaurants, but it also means they will enjoy drinking coffee and alcohol by themselves,” said Lee Kyu-min, a director at the ministry.

The survey showed more men ate out alone than women. Men ate out by themselves 7.3 times a month, higher than women at 5.5 times. Those in their 20s ate out alone the most, on average 7.8 times a month.

“People eating out alone said they were most comfortable with getting fast food and gimbap [rice rolls],” Lee said. Many said they felt uncomfortable dining alone at Western restaurants and bars.

Koreans in general ate out 15 times a month this year, an increase from 14.7 times recorded last year. The survey also found people had coffee or drinks outside 6.9 times a month and spent 310,000 won ($270) on average per month on dining and drinking.

Most Koreans chose Korean restaurants for dining, according to the survey results, and fried chicken came in first for delivery while Chinese food came in second.

The ministry predicts more Koreans next year will seek premium fast food as they care more about their health and the convenience of the service. The ministry added that pick-up and delivery services from home will also become more popular as the market for delivery apps continues to develop in the country.


BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]

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