Throwing a holiday dinner party? Lose the etiquette anxiety. A new nationwide Come Dine with Me Canada/Ipsos Reid survey finds that Canadians are not as uptight – or as well-behaved – as you might think when it comes to entertaining – and being entertained.
W Network commissioned the survey to dish up Canadians’ spicy dinner party behaviour and mark the premiere of the Canadian version of Come Dine with Me, the original dinner party series whose format is produced in 30 countries worldwide.
Come Dine with Me Canada – which follows five amateur Canadian foodies as they compete for the title of ultimate dinner party host – premieres Monday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on W Network.
Just what are well-mannered Canadians really up to at dinner parties? According to the survey, one in ten (13%) have ‘hooked up’ with a fellow guest they met at the party, two in ten (18%) have played ‘footsie’ under the table, and a quarter (24%) of those polled said they have ‘formed a lifelong friendship.’ Other dinner party activities include meeting a significant other/life partner (6%), landing a job interview (6%) and playing ‘footsie’ with the wrong person (4%).
Speaking of confessions, one in five (22%) Canadians admitted to secretly snooping through a host’s bathroom cabinets. Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba were most likely to snoop (30%), compared to those living in British Columbia (28%), Quebec (25%), Alberta (23%), as well as Ontario (17%) and Atlantic Canada (17%). In addition, four in ten (43%) admitted they prefer a good meal to sex. Further to that, the majority of women (51%) prefer a good meal to sex compared to (34%) of men.
The poll also reveals that, surprisingly, the majority of Canadians are comfortable with traditionally taboo topics at dinner parties. Sixty three per cent are comfortable discussing money, as well as politics (65%) at the table. Six in ten (60%) feel that it is acceptable to talk about sex and just over half (51%) will freely discuss religion. Broken down by gender, men are more open to ‘taboo’ topics at the table than women. Majority of men (70%) felt that sex was acceptable dinner fodder, while just under half of women (49%) agreed. Men also felt that the subject of money was acceptable (71%), compared to women (55%).
Having performance anxiety over what you should be talking about it at a dinner party? If so, just catch up on the news. The majority of Canadians surveyed prefer to discuss current events (58%) at dinner parties, followed by family gossip (23%), sports (10%), gossip about friends who aren’t at the dinner (8%) and celebrities (1%). In addition, across all age groups, current events was the hot topic. More than half (51%) of 18-34 year olds, 56% of 35-54 year-olds and 67% of 55 year olds and older prefer contemporary issues chit chat.
The way in which Canadians are inviting their friends to dinner parties has no doubt changed over the years, but not as much as one might think. While the majority of Canadians invite guests to their dinner party via telephone (67%), two in ten (18%) prefer email invitations. Only one in ten (7%) invite their friends over Facebook with men being twice as likely to use Facebook to invite their guests (10%) than women (5%). Only 2% still send out a written invitation in the mail.
Wondering what to bring as a host/hostess gift this season? Grab a bottle of vino on the way over. The majority of Canadians say if they were the host or hostess, they would like to receive a bottle of wine (52%) compared to dessert (23%), flowers (15%), a small kitchen item (6%) or a holiday décor item such as an ornament (5%).
The survey also reveals that dinner party hosts turn into spontaneous chefs when it comes to planning the menu. Almost a majority (45%) of Canadians say they make up the menu as they go along while two in ten (20%) rely on a family recipe. One in ten (13%) cook from a cook book and a similar proportion (12%) plan their menu from online recipe sites. Word of mouth (7%) and magazines (2%) contribute to menu planning as well.
Dinner Parties by Region
Percentage of Canadians who snoop through the hosts bathroom cupboards and cabinets (by province):
British Columbia: 28%
Percentage of Canadians who prefer a good meal to sex (by province):
British Columbia: 50%
Percentage of Canadians who have ‘hooked-up’ with a fellow guest they met at a dinner party (by province):
British Columbia: 11%
Percentage of Canadians that discuss current events at dinner parties (by province):
British Columbia: 68%
About the Survey
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between September 10 and 15, 2010, on behalf of Corus Entertainment Inc. For this survey, a sample of 1,009 adults from Ipsos’ Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
Watch a sneak peak of Come Dine with Me Canada episode one at www.wnetwork.com/ComeDineWithMeCanada