One in five people in the UK have been embarrassed by their other halves when eating out together, according to a survey.

The research found millions of people have been left red-faced after their partner struggled to pronounce an order correctly, clicked their fingers at staff or complained unnecessarily about something.

The study also showed that a date being on the phone when ordering or speaking with their mouth full were amongst the list of reasons we’re embarrassed by our partners when eating out.

The research, commissioned by the SUBWAY® brand, found regular food faux pas include knocking things off the plate, ordering ‘off menu’ and having a credit card declined.

INBV-Restaurant embarrassed 2 shutterstock

The study marks the launch of Subway’s new Stay Picky campaign, which encourages people to be picky and proud, and includes the launch of a new seven hour, slow cooked BBQ Pulled Pork Sub this month.

Roger Cusa, Head of Marketing for the SUBWAY® brand in UK and Ireland, said: “When it comes to eating out it seems that for many of us there is a set of unwritten rules and behaviours that we expect our dates to follow. Failure to do so can often give the wrong impression.

“It’s clear from the results that a person being rude, loud or lacking in manners can quickly embarrass those they are with.”

Other behaviours that drive embarrassment while eating are being too greedy, and haggling for money off the bill.

While tucking a napkin into a collar is also not likely to go down well with the other diner and appears on the list of embarrassments.


1. Sent back an order
2. Complained about the service
3. Negotiate substitutes e.g. swapping an egg for an extra rasher of bacon
4. Ordered a dish that wasn’t on the menu
5. They asked for ketchup
6. They clicked at serving staff
7. They complained about the food
8. They mispronounced something off the menu
9. Ordered too much food – they were greedy
10. Refused to pay for their order
11. Refused to eat their order
12. They were a messy eater
13. They tried to get discount off the bill
14. Refused to pay for the entire meal
15. They were rude to the staff
16. They knocked food off the plate
17. They were on their phone the whole time
18. They had a card declined
19. They spoke with their mouthful the whole time
20. They tucked their napkin into their collar

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