Revealed! What is Going on at British Dining TablesEverything but eating! 78% of Brits do not sit down to a meal at the table daily, and 23 meals are eaten from the sofa per month

Over its lifetime

132 arguments

93 bombshell announcements

104 moments of passion

594 homework sessions

259 kids’ tantrums

When we do get around to sitting down together, Brits only spend 10 minutes a day eating at the table, unlike in Italy for example where their love of food means time spent at the table is almost twice as long.

Giovanni Rana; Italy’s most loved fresh pasta maker, is on a mission to share his passion for food and family dining, and reinstate the dinner table as the heart of the home

A study into the eating habits and routines of 2,000 people has pinpointed the buzz of activity our tables witness over their lifetimes*.

For example, the average UK family dining table will see 1,101 meals go unfinished, suffer 1,995 food and drink spills and witness 259 kids’ tantrums, in its lifetime.

The dinner table will also play host to 132 arguments, 104 moments of passion, 312 impromptu naps and 594 homework sessions.

And it’s not just the kids working hard; the average UK adult will also complete an incredible 1,890 hours of admin or work on their dining table over their lifetime – the equivalent of 236 eight-hour work shifts!

All this means the average Brit will spend 4,864 hours, or a huge 202 full days, sitting at the dinner table over the course of their adult lifetime.

Despite this the research, commissioned by Giovanni Rana; Italy’s most loved fresh pasta maker, found that on average it takes Brits just 10 minutes to actually clear their plate. They’ll then only linger 10 more minutes before rushing back to busy lifestyles, which could be having a detrimental effect on family life.

On the findings Dr Nihara Krause, clinical psychologist, said; “Making time to incorporate a family meal together is a simple, enjoyable and effective way of building emotional resilience and social connection. It provides a regular opportunity for family members to communicate, which not only builds bonds, but also aids emotional development and reslience.’

And it seems Brits should know better – although over half of those polled said they enjoy more conversation and find out more about their loved ones and their days at the table together than any other time, 78% of Brits do not eat at the dining table every day and admit to eating on the sofa an average of 5 times a week! This means that over the lifetime of the average adult, approximately 17,660 meals will be eaten on the couch.

Interestingly, the dining table is the preferred place for conversation for both Brits and Italians, but the subjects most often discussed vary for each. In Britain, an average of five different topics of conversation is covered during the evening meal. Film and TV are the topics covered most often, followed by gossip, then politics. Contrastingly, politics, economics and money is the least popular conversation topic and food is discussed most often. Work, kids and school comes second and holidays are the third most popular topic.

In another difference to their Italian counterparts, 62% of Brits do not consider the dining table to be the heart of the home. When it comes to a special occasion however, this shifts and food preparation time jumps to well over an hour to get things right. The time spent around the table also increases when Brits have company; during dinner parties an average of one hour and 40 minutes is spent at the table – five times longer than for a normal meal.

Giovanni Rana, Founder and President of Giovanni Rana, said; “I have always passionately believed that the dinner table should be a place for sharing fresh and nourishing food and flavours with friends and family. This has been my belief since I decided to become a pasta maker more than 50 years ago”.

Antonella Paternò Rana of Giovanni Rana said; “Before Giovanni Rana’s pasta ‘revolution’ in the 1960s fresh filled pasta was a dish served solely for special occasions at which the whole family gathered, such as Christmas. Giovanni Rana’s creativity, focus on quality ingredients and skill as master pasta maker however, successfully changed the Italian way of living and mind set and fresh filled pasta, such as tortellini, is now a daily dinner time staple.

Giovanni Rana solved the problems of modern life by making it possible for fresh and flavoursome pasta to be enjoyed every day, rather than purely on special occasions. He strongly believes that eating food quality, delicious food enables people to gather around the dinner table with joy and happiness – making special every single moment spent together.”

To find out more about the life of a UK dining table, and for tips on how to make your dining table the heart of your home go to

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via or alternatively called at