British diners prefer to eat at restaurants with seasonal menus, despite 88% of people admitting they are unable to identify seasonal produce, according to an OpenTable study.

A survey of 2000 UK residents found that while a third of respondents said seasonal menus were important when eating out, almost two thirds were unable to say when staples such as strawberries and asparagus were in season.

Half of diners admitted they would be more likely to eat at a restaurant that grows its own produce, while 40% said they would re-think their restaurant choice if the produce wasn’t British grown.

A separate study of 250 UK restaurateurs found that 72% were questioned by customers about seasonality on a weekly basis.

It comes ahead of British Food Fortnight (17 September – 2 October), which aims to encourage the pubic to cook and grow their own produce.

Adrian Valeriano, European vice president at OpenTable, said: “It is fantastic to see this growing trend and insight. It is incredibly important for diners to think about where the food they are enjoying comes from, though it’s interesting to see how unaware we can all be about the provenance of our food.”

The nationwide survey found that Brighton residents claimed to know the most about produce, with 92% able to identify seasonal items, while respondents in Edinburgh were the least knowledgeable with just 67% able to do so.

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