Traditional, European or Creole, will you be able to guess the Malagasy people’s favourite restaurant?

23/08/2018. Would you say that going out to restaurants is in the Malagasy habit? Generally speaking, we all know that we like to party and that every Friday night, clubs, bars and other nightclubs have a stock full of night owls in search of thrills. But what interests us this time is the other side of the night, the wiser we’ll say. :)

So, do restaurants have a bright future ahead of them? Can we say that we also like the food plans in Madagascar? Let’s dig into the question with, as usual at Stileex, a poll! Here are the results of a survey we administered to 1,289 people we met in the streets of Antananarivo.

A more prevalent practice than one might think

With 61% who admit to going out to eat out for pleasure, these are two thirds of those questioned who make restaurant plans! Be careful, we are talking about pleasure and not necessity (like having lunch outside the house during the week for example).

Two thirds of Malagasy people go out to restaurants
Two thirds of Malagasy people go out to restaurants

When asked why they do not go to restaurants, the remaining 39% put forward various explanations. Half (49%) confess that they prefer to spend the money elsewhere, on another item of expenditure. Another 23% say they simply don’t have time to go out to eat out. Worse still, 17% say they simply don’t see any point in going out to eat out. Finally, 9% said they couldn’t find a restaurant that would be worthwhile for them, which is why they never go.

Favourite types of kitchens

When asked about their favourite cuisines, respondents told us what they liked to eat in restaurants and it is no surprise that Asian cuisine comes first. Types of preparations preferred by the Tananarivians, therefore, the specialties from Asia won 32% of the votes, arriving in front of the traditional dishes of the Malagasy cuisine which, for their part, won 26% of the votes and thus come second in the hearts of the interviewees. In third place finally, and having collected 14% of the memberships, we find the fast food and their takeaways.

After this top 3 comes Italian cuisine (13%), which is mainly there thanks to pizza, European cuisine (7%) and grilled food (4%). This last score might make you smile, but keep in mind that we are talking about restaurants where they are not usually eaten as snacks, but as dishes. Basically, those who like grilled food don’t usually go to restaurants to eat it.

A good soup van tan mine special char siu :D
A good soup van tan mine special char siu :D

The best days for restaurants

Not every day is the same once you take an interest in restaurant attendance.

If it is Monday that the respondents go out to eat out the least (with only 2% of them going out that day), it is Saturday that wins the most votes with 42% of those questioned going out to eat out on their first day off. This is followed by Friday in second place (22%) and Sunday in third place (19%).

Saturday is the day when Malagasy people go to restaurants the most.
Saturday is the day when Malagasy people go to restaurants the most.

Wednesdays, Thursdays and Tuesdays, as for them, close the march in this order with respectively 7%, 6% and 2% of the Malagasy interviewees who go to the restaurant on these days.

The average restaurant bill

We know that 61% of those surveyed go to restaurants, but what about their budget? Well, if we look at the average basket, we see a clear trend: 46% of the people surveyed are in the price range from 20,001 Ariary to 40,000 Ariary. This is followed by the under 20,000 Ariary bracket, which accounts for 30% of those surveyed.

Finally, 15% spend between 40,001 Ariary and 70,000 Ariary, 6% between 70,000 and 100,000 Ariary, and only 2% claim to pay more than 100,000 Ariary for the restaurant.

The average basket according to the 5 favourite Malagasy cuisines

Given their disparity, it is interesting here to highlight the average baskets according to the type of cuisine preferred.

It soon becomes clear that European and Italian cuisine mainly attracts people spending between 20,001 and 40,000 Ariary. The others, i.e. fast food, Asian cuisine and Malagasy cuisine, attract as much as those spending less than 20,000 Ariary, with Malagasy cuisine being the most popular, although these two categories still account for 87% of the clientele.

What can we say about the habits of Malagasy people in restaurants?

The first thing we notice in the results of this survey is that far from being sulked, restaurants have their place in the heart of the Malagasy people. Indeed, two thirds of those polled readily admit to going out to restaurants. Once again, it is a question of “pleasure” outings to differentiate from “necessity” outings. We are therefore talking about moments of relaxation rather than biological imperatives.

Surprisingly, in spite of all the love that the Malagasy may have for his roots, the country’s cuisine only ranks second among favourite cuisines, 6 points behind Asian cuisine. Is this a sign of the influence of our origins on our culture? Nothing is less certain. In any case, 32% of those interviewed prefer Asian cuisine in restaurants, compared to 26% for Malagasy cuisine.

Also of note here is the popularity of fast food, which is in third place. A very good performance when we know that this sector is still very young in the Big Island (about fifteen years at most). The first hamburgers were found in gargottes. Today, there is no longer any signage that rushes into the sector between Extra Pizza, Chicky Burger or LOAA’S Burger. Let’s bet that this type of fast food restaurant has a bright future ahead of it, especially with the arrival of the famous 2000 generation: fast food is indeed the second favourite cuisine of 18 to 25 year olds.

Finally, on the money side, let’s point out that the majority of the interviewees are apparently reluctant to pay more than 40,000 Ariary to go out to a restaurant!

Appendix: the modus operandi of the survey on the habits of Malagasy people in restaurants

The study on Malagasy people and sport 2018 was carried out on a panel of 1,289 people of Malagasy nationality met in the streets. Here are the main characteristics:

  • It’s like:
    • 58.96% are women
    • 41.04% are men
  • Age Groups:
    • 30.33% are between 18 and 25 years of age
    • 32.12% are between 26 and 35 years old
    • 21.72% are between 36 and 45 years old
    • 8.53% are between 46 and 55 years of age
    • 4.97% are between 56 and 65 years of age
    • 2.33% are over 65 years of age
  • Socio-professional categories :
    • 22.34% belong to the category Craftsmen and Traders
    • 20.95% belong to the Student category
    • 13.27% belong to the Professionals category
    • 12.57% belong to the category Employees
    • 10.40% belong to the category Intermediate professions (teachers, medical staff in hospitals, etc.)
    • 7.21% belong to the category Other non-working people (military, church people, non-working spouses, etc.)
    • 4.97% belong to the category Workers
    • 4.97% belong to the category Executives, senior professionals and business managers
    • 2.64% belong to the Retired category
    • 0.70% belong to the category of farmers

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