The Social Value of Dining

Dining out can be an engaging social experience. From celebrating birthdays or work lunches to coffee dates with friends, dining provides an ideal chance to come together over shared food experiences and create memories together.

Thestaurant provide an abundance of cuisines to expand your culinary horizons and deepen your appreciation of foods that form part of your heritage.


Mealtime experiences should not only involve eating; they should also involve socialization. Tablemates can share stories about the past, their current lives and interests, or any personal health conditions they are managing. Joking often forms part of these discussions – from harmless banter about the food served or other tablemates’ accents to more malicious comments on one resident’s appearance, behaviour or capacity.

Interactions can be evidenced through verbal and nonverbal forms of communication, including eye contact, laughter, smiling, nodding, gesturing or raising eyebrows. Tablemates may demonstrate a sense of community by introducing themselves, discussing what they’re eating or their day, offering to share something special like dessert or drink (See field note excerpts for examples).


Dietary variety is widely advocated in global dietary guidelines and research has demonstrated its potential to increase food consumption. Yet little is known about how consumers identify various forms of food variety in their eating environment and define this term.

Participants were shown photographs depicting various forms of food variety and asked to describe them. Their responses showed they could easily recognize various types of variety found within an eating environment and that their definition of this term differed significantly from what had been published previously.

When asked to describe variety within foods, 88% of participants referenced its different ingredients, flavours and textures – believed to increase feelings of fullness – while 16% referenced differences in broad characteristics like sweetness or crunchiness, as well as nutritional values (e.g. sugar content or fat content).

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