Italians are eating less often in restaurants according to research conducted by Fipe, the Federazione Italiano Pubblici esercizi. Only 8.3 per cent of restaurateurs claim an increase in business in the first four months of 2005 as opposed to 75 per cent who have seen a fall in takings and 16.7 per cent who say that their business has remained unaltered.

In all 86 per cent of restaurateurs say that they have not increased their prices to the public since 2004 and attribute the decline in business to the increase in the cost of living, particularly since the introduction of the euro; even if people have maintained the same spending power they seem to feel poorer.

Changes in Italian life-styles are also thought to be a reason for the fall in numbers of people dining out. Longer working hours makes Italians less interested in going out at night to enjoy themselves, so increasingly they entertain their friends at home.