1 in 3 Italians admit to having abandoned a date due to a food-related reason

With a deep-rooted passion for food and culinary traditions, Italians hold their cuisine close to their hearts. In the realm of Italian first dates, the choice of food can reveal a great deal about a person’s preferences, but it can also be the very factor that brings an end to the date.

With Italian food being a top choice for a first date, Bonusfinder surveyed 1,400 Italians about their experiences, shedding light on the most prevalent culinary mishaps and turn offs that can occur during a first date.

This press release is part of a wider study, please see it here: 

Food crimes against Italian food

Study Highlights:

  • 36.3% admitted to having cut a date short due to food-related reasons
  • Nearly 10% of Italians would abandon a date if their partner asked for ‘ketchup with their pasta
  • Italian women are more likely to leave a date if witnessing a ‘food atrocity

The top 5 food crimes that can cost you a date with an Italian

RankFood Crime% of Italians who would consider walking out on a date
1Asked for ketchup with their pasta8.3%
2Refused to share food with you7.6%
3Ordered pineapple on their pizza7.2%
4Asked for cheese on a meal containing seafood5.2%
5Ordered garlic bread with pasta5.1%

Nearly 1 out of 10 Italians admitted that they would leave a date early if their counterpart asked for ketchup on their pasta and an even larger percentage (64.6%) think that putting ketchup on pasta is a crime against food.The 18-25 age group is the least bothered by this food crime with just 10% of the total vote, while those aged 41-60 are much more likely to take offense (40%).

Another red flag for Italians on first dates is not sharing food. In fact, 7.6% admitted that they would  abandon their date for this reason, with men being 25% more likely to walk out. Once again, the over-40 age group is the most affected by this with 76% of the total vote.

Moving to one of the most infamous food transgressions for Italians – ordering pineapple on pizza – places third with 7.2%, with the most affected age group being those aged 41-60 (41%). Adding cheese to a meal containing seafood is another red flag for 5.2% of the Italians surveyed, with nearly 80% being over 40. Fifth in the study is ordering garlic bread with pasta, with 5.1% admitting that they find this to be a dating red flag for their partners. 

Would Italians cut a date short due to food preferences?

Cut a date due to food-related reason% of Italians who cut the date shortAge group 18-25Age group 26-40Age group 41-60Age group 61+

According to the survey, middle-aged Italians (41-60) were the most likely to walk out their date due to food-related reasons, while the younger generation (26-40) were more willing to overlook their date transgressions at the dinner table. 

The survey also revealed how Italian women are more likely to leave their date after witnessing a food atrocity, with the over 40 being the most outraged (74%).


  1. Bonusfinder sought to find out the worst ‘food crimes’ that can be committed against Italian cuisine.
  2. A survey was carried out to Italians, asking participants questions with multiple choice answers.
  3. In total, 1,400 people completed the survey, aged between 18-61+.
  4.  The survey was conducted between the dates of Thursday 3rd May 2023 – 12th May 2023.
  5. The survey questions were determined using information on the most common Italian food crimes from online sources which include YouGov, Reddit, Euronews (as well as expert opinions from Italian people who are familiar with the food and culture).
  6. Find the full survey data here