The majority of Canadians review restaurant menus in advance, with Gen Z emerging as the most likely to check out a menu before dining out.

April 25th, 2024

In our latest national survey, we asked Canadians about their habits when dining out. Specifically, we asked how often they review a restaurant’s menu before trying a new spot and what their motivations are for doing so. Overall, 71% of Canadians always, often or sometimes look at the menu before going to a restaurant for the first time. Meanwhile 29% of Canadians sometimes look at the menu beforehand, and only one in ten report never looking at the menu in advance.

Compared to all other provinces, those in the Prairies (13%) are least likely to report always looking at the menu beforehand, whereas those in Ontario (20%) are most likely to always look at the menu. Interestingly, women are more likely (21%) than men (14%) to report always looking at the menu in advance. Furthermore, likelihood of looking at the menu beforehand always or often increases with household income.  The likelihood of always reviewing the menu ahead of time decreases with age, with 33% of Gen Z always looking in advance, and just 12% of Boomers partaking in this habit. Speculation might suggest that because the ability to research the menu before dining out was only made possible with the introduction of the internet, it stands to reason that younger (and likely more tech savvy) individuals are more likely view menus in advance.

Canadians have various reasons for checking the menu before visiting a restaurant for the first time. The top reason, cited by 61% of online menu seekers, is to see if the restaurant has options that I/people in my party like to eat. Quebec residents are more likely than all others to respond this way, with 74% indicating this response. Across age groups, Millennials (66%) show the highest tendency to check the menu for this purpose, with little variation between other demographics.

The second most common reason for this habit is to make a decision in advance about what I will order (45%), followed by to give myself more time to decide what to order (33%), and to see if the restaurant has options that meet my/someone in my party’s dietary requirements (32%). Regionally, those in the Atlantic provinces (44%) are more likely than those in other provinces to look at the menu in hopes of giving themselves more time to decide what they would like to order. When it comes to dietary requirements, Baby Boomers (25%) are least likely to check a menu for this reason.

Results are from an online survey conducted in partnership between Narrative Research and the Logit Group. The survey was conducted between April 9 and 12, 2024 with 1,230 Canadians, 18 years of age or older from the Logit Group’s online Canadian Omnibus. Data were weighted based on the 2016 Census, by gender, age, and region to reflect actual population distribution, and data tables are available upon request. 

The questions asked were:

Before you eat out at a restaurant for the first time, how often do you look up the menu before you go?

 [IF ‘SOMETIMES’ OR MORE OFTEN IN Q1] Why do you look at the menu before you go to a new restaurant? 

For more information, please contact:

Margaret Chapman, COO & Partner, Narrative Research – 902.493.3834,


Sam Pisani, Managing Partner, Logit Group – 416.629.4116,

Narrative Research (, is a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned, research company, certified as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE). Narrative Research provides clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. 

The Logit Group ( is a leading North American data collection and market research execution company headquartered in Toronto, conducting large-scale projects for a variety of well-known research agencies and brands. Logit employs industry-best technologies across an array of methodologies, and is independent, experienced and quality-oriented. 

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