In this post-Carrie Bradshaw world, even the most right swipe-fatigued Millennial will admit to experiencing at least a little nervous excitement at the prospect of a first date. The agonising decision of what to wear, wondering how to tackle unexpected air kisses, and figuring out whether the “Hotline Bling” video is still an acceptable conversation opener adds up to a lot of feels.
But perhaps the biggest worry is deciding where to go. Do you keep it casual with a romantic stroll in the park? Flex your intellectual prowess by meeting your new beau at the museum? Show just how ~crazy and spontaneous~ you are with tickets to Thorpe Park?
For Brits, apparently none of these considerations are an issue. According to a new survey from dating app Clover, Nando’s is the most popular location in the UK for first dates.
Yes, Nando’s: the chicken-slinging chain restaurant loved by “urban youth” for its wings and burger-heavy menu (Mozambican-Portuguese-inspired, apparently), refillable drinks, and strangely mesmerising PERi-PERi sauce.
Of course, any confusion over how exactly a mid-price chicken burger could be considered “cheeky” was easily translated as an enjoyable dining experience with the lads (that’s “friends,” America). The fact that single Brits are taking their Tinder matches to high street chicken joints and still expecting to get laid is sadly not so easily explained.
Using data from 500,000 of its users, Clover also found that while men opt for restaurants on first dates, women actually prefer meeting at coffee shops. Accordingly, coffee chains Costa Coffee and Starbucks came out as the UK’s second and third most popular first date locations and trusty old Cineworld squeaked into the top five.
And, just to add further damage to any hopes Britain had of keeping up with its romantic European neighbours (alright, France, we’re trying), McDonald’s made it to twelfth place.
Even Clover CEO Isaac Raichyk appeared slightly perturbed by the wooing habits of his app’s users. Speaking to Metro, he said: “We expected fine dining, bars, and nightclubs to rank much higher, but clearly people want to meet in a relaxed environment. Men seem more willing to commit to a first meeting over dinner at a restaurant versus women who prefer being able to screen dates quickly over coffee.”
Screening dates over a 30-minute Frappuccino? Now that’s cheeky.