Meals eaten away from home, whether in expensive restaurants or industrial canteens, were "off ration' and provided a very popular option for people who could afford them.
The ability of the rich to enjoy almost pre-war quality meals at top hotels led to such resentment that the government prevented restaurants charging more than 5/- a meal from 1942.
British Restaurants supplied a convienient and cost effective way of eating away from home. A diner could eat a nourishing three course meal for just 9d.
Standards varied, but the best had a large regular clientele and attracted huge queues of diners.
British Restaurants were open to everyone, but mainly served office and industrial workers.
A British Restaurant at lunchtime
British Restaurants were run by local authorities, who set them up in a variety of different premises such as schools and church halls.
Although they were clean and well managed, British Restaurants avoided unnecessary luxury. The average British Restaurant was more like a works canteen than a restaurant but that didn't deter their hungry customers.