Most people admit they eat a burger with cutlery rather than their hands if they want to impress a date or colleagues, according to a new survey.
Research by One Poll for upmarket burger restaurant group Haché found that 60% of respondents agreed that it was better to use a knife and fork when tackling a gourmet burger.
Nearly 70% of the 1,000 respondents confessed to using their hands on occasion, of which 84% said they suffered spillages on their clothes and face.
The survey, carried out in London, revealed that the upmarket borough of Kensington and Chelsea came out top in using cutlery to dissect a burger, while people from Hackney were least likely to worry about who they were with before using their fingers.
Residents in Lambeth, south London, were the most socially aware in terms of saying they considered what kind of company they were with before choosing between cutlery and hands.
To help us navigate the complex challenges of eating a burger, Haché has enlisted etiquette expert William Hanson to provide some tips:
1. Cut the burger into small pieces. That way you will take the time to eat and know when you are getting full.
2. Add sauce as you go along. Try the burger before smothering it in a sauce to enhance rather than overpower the flavour.
3. Show others the socially acceptable way. Don’t be afraid to “fine dine” in front of your friends with the use of silverware. Just don’t use a spoon….
4. Remember, a good drink always enhances the flavour of your food – but swallow your mouthful before taking a sip.
5. Pop the napkin on your lap – not around your collar!
“When you eat with your hands you often have a bigger mouthful and don’t taste the ingredients as much, mostly because you are worrying about trying to stop half of the contents falling out or going all over you or a fellow diner,” William added. “Make burger biting a fine-dining experience: use your knife and fork and savour each mouthful.
“A burger is no longer something solely associated with fast-food joints and, with its successful introduction into finer dining, we will inevitably adopt more refined ways of enjoying it.
“We eat first with our eyes and secondly with our utensils, and it has been an interesting mission for Haché and I to explore how to do this most effectively in order to maximise the burger-eating experience.”
Haché co-founder Berry Casey added: “We have always provided cutlery so our customers have the choice of eating with a knife and fork, which I think can help in savouring the flavour of the burger.
“It’s been fun working with William to see if we could make the burger-eating experience more relaxed for Londoners who don’t want to hold back from ordering that longed-for burger, whatever the social setting.”