Argues that eating out in Britain has no basis in social culture and therefore exists without any consensual value as to what is recognized as good. As a consequence it is open to the influence of innovation and novelty. The concept of “lifestyle” is evoked as a focus of consumption patterns and it is argued that as eating out has no cultural support it is open to greater competition from other attributes of lifestyle. The debate between holistic versus attribute evaluation is resolved firmly in favour of the former. The implications of this, and the absence of a cultural anchor with its attendant effect on lifestyle, are explored in relation to marketing strategies. The distinction is made between unit marketing, market segmentation and the task of attracting more people into the activity of eating out. Home orientation is seen as the barrier to development.
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