top of page


That number will continue to grow, but what are restaurants doing to adapt to the new reality? Not much it seems, but they should. Along side the growing number of spontaneous guests, the number of quality restaurants in Denmark has exploded over the last 20 years. Despite the fact that the Corona pandemic clearly means a setback, there is still only reason to believe that we will see even more in the future.  

Åbne restauranter København

What is causing this explosion?
Why is this? The simple answer is because there’s a market for it. If we go a bit more into detail, we probably have to find the answer in the fact that our income has increased significantly. Actually from the year 2000 to 2018, our average available income increased by no less than 28% ( Add to that a great increase in our average wealth, and we have a lot of extra money to spend. 
But money in the hand and in the bank is only part of the explanation. Another viable explanation is probably the rise of social media. Few other businesses have benefited more from Facebook and in particular Instagram than the restaurant business. “The camera eats first.” 
That’s just two of the most obvious explanations why we have seen such a boom in the number of quality restaurants in Denmark in the past two decades. And even though there are more explanations, I will leave it with that. 
Because I believe that it all comes down to one thing. Going out to eat has transformed from being a “once in a while luxury” to an “everyday” thing. And with this transformation to an everyday thing, the guest patterns have changed. Back when going out was a special thing, we all made damn sure to plan and book our table way in advance. And nothing on earth could make us cancel. Today, more and more people book their table on the same day or even within the same hour. And if their desire or impulse suddenly changes, they’ll just cancel. No biggie.
According to HORESTA (the restaurant & hotel trade association) today, 60% of guests at any given day are so-called spontaneous diners. I believe this number also includes cafés, so it might be a bit lower for all restaurants alone. So for the sake of argument, let’s say 40%. That’s still almost half of the restaurant's guests. And this number will probably only grow.


Familie middag ude

Spontaneity is challenging for restaurants. It makes it difficult to food prep and to plan the schedules for the employees. But it's necessary to find out how they can adapt their business to this new reality. Because the fact is that many of them would not have been here today if we had not had a much more relaxed relationship to eating out. And with that has come spontaneity. The sooner they accept that premise and adapt, the better the chance they have of being here tomorrow too.   
We don't want to get into how the restaurants should each adapt to the spontaneous trend, because it can be very different from restaurant to restaurant. Some may need to make their menus more flexible, others may need to look at their table arrangement and booking system. Either way, we would strongly advise them not to ignore it, but instead take it as a positive challenge. For their own sake and for (at least) over half of their guests.

If you haven't already done so, remember to download our app here:

bottom of page