By Allison Sadlier // SWNS


The average couple argues 156 times every year over where to order dinner from, according to new research.

The study of 2,000 Americans who’ve ever been in a relationship revealed the typical couple gets in a fight three times a week over just where to eat.

Mealtime is such a big deal, that two in five of those polled said a lack of “food compatibility” would be a relationship deal-breaker for them.

It takes the average couple 17 minutes of deliberation to finally make a decision where dinner is coming from but 16% will take 30 minutes or more.

The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Panera Bread found what exactly contributes to the controversial choices of what to eat.

And even after the decision has been made, almost one in three (32%) end up fighting about who’s going to be the one to pick the food up.

The revolving door of dinner debates typically starts with the age-old question ‒ “what do you want for dinner” which the average person says six times a week.

Over half of respondents confessed they dread hearing that question thrown their way.

Six in ten (59%) admitted there are places they don’t like eating at even though their partner loves the place.

Of those, over a third (37%) said they just don’t like the menu options at their partner’s preferred spot.

A quarter don’t like their partner’s favorite place because it’s too spicy or not healthy enough for them (also 25%).

Many couples will try to keep the peace, as 56% say they have a standard spot that serves as a compromise if they can’t agree on dinner.

That’s not to say it’s smooth sailing once the food arrives. Over half of respondents have gotten secretly irked when their partner takes a taste of their meal.

Forty-two percent have even forbidden their partners from sneaking bites of their favorite dishes.

Claes Petersson, Head Chef and Chief Food & Innovation Officer at Panera said, “With the topic of dinner being such a hot debate amongst couples, we’re happy to introduce our new Panera Flatbreads – a menu item that can truly satisfy both partners. No one wants to compromise when it comes to dinner. Couples should be able to find something that satisfies their cravings and their partner’s.”

Dinner time is far from the only troublesome topics partners have to contend with, and the results showed that couples will look for any reason to argue.

A third have found deciding what time to leave home for something to be a struggle while another third struggle over how much time it takes to get ready.

Three in ten debate how much time they should spend with each partner’s extended family or what movies and TV shows to watch together (also 30%).

Petersson added, “We know people are busier than ever right now so the last thing couples want to do after a long day is to debate where their dinner is coming from. That’s why pickup and delivery options take the stress out of meals and give couples more time to spend more quality time together, deciding on a TV show to watch or whatever the night holds.”


  1. Where to order from 37%
  2. What to order from the menu 35%
  3. Who is going to pick it up 32%
  4. How much food to get 30%
  5. Will we share 12%


  1. What to eat for a meal 37%
  2. What time to leave home for something 34%
  3. How long it takes us to get ready 34%
  4. How much time we spend with extended family 31%
  5. Which movies/TV shows to watch together 30%
  6. Alarm clock sounds 25%
  7. Bedtime 24%
  8. Holiday plans 23%

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