How much people spend on food in Australia

The hospitality industry is one of Australia's largest, even bigger than the coal export industry (woohoo).

There are over 22,000 restaurants and nearly 7000 pubs and bars across the country for locals to dine out at, as well as the massive fast food and cafe industries across Australia.

So it’s no surprise that we are spending huge amounts of money on dining out, especially in the fast-paced modern world.

But how much are Aussies actually spending on food? And how can vendors in the hospitality industry tap into this spend to get a larger slice of the market pie?

How Aussies eat out

The average Australian household spends <a href='' target='blank>$94 a week eating out, which equates to $45 billion a year in expenditure every year.

Industry data also shows that the average Australian will eat out an average of two to three times a week, which equates to <a href='' target='blank'50 million meals each week – or 2.5 meals billion annually.

Spending on food and drink varies depending on the household, with the average spending sitting at:

  • Lone person under 35 - $122
  • Couple only (At least one person under 35) - $239
  • Couple with kids (Youngest child under 5) - $282
  • Couple with kids (Youngest child between 5-14) - $336
  • Couple with kids (Youngest child 15 and above) - $332

What kind of restaurants are thriving, and which ones are declining?

Australians are seeking healthier options when they eat out, research has shown.

Healthy eating was the biggest improver in an industry survey conducted in 2017 called <a href='' target='blank>Eating Out in Australia, rising 14.7 percent in 2016 with 78.5 percent of respondents saying it was a popular choice for them.

In contrast, fast food giants McDonald's (19.5 percent decline) and KFC (19.2 percent decline) took the biggest hits in popularity, while Hungry Jacks (16.4 percent), American style BBQ, burgers, steak houses (16.1 percent) and Dominos Pizza (12.3 percent) also showed considerable drops.

Australians still love to throw another shrimp on the barbie, with 80.5 percent of respondents declaring seafood a popular option – a rise of 8.8 per cent rise. Modern Australian also remains the favourite cuisine with 87.4 percent of respondents ticking this – a rise of 2.2 percent.

The most popular dining out establishments in Australia

Despite the trend towards healthy eating, fast food venues still make up the majority of these establishments, taking up 34.5 percent of the total venues and 42.4 percent of dollars spent by diners.

Restaurants come in second with 25.7 percent (venue) and 29.3 percent (dollars spent), followed by cafes at 24 percent (venues) and 15 percent (dollars spent). Clubs, pubs and bars make up the difference.

The way we are eating is changing

It is not just the choice of food that is changing in Australia, with the way we are consuming food also transitioning to reflect the fast-paced modern world. 'On the go' options are on the rise and set meal times are becoming a thing of the past.

The number of 'on the go' food options on the market increased 55 per cent from 2012 to 2016, which shows that many of want to eat while performing other tasks. This includes work, with 21 percent of Australians now eating lunch at their desk.

Cut the costs of dining bills with Liven

One of the key takeaways from the Eating Out in Australia report is that marrying the physical world to the online world remains a challenge in the hospitality industry.

Staffing issues, consumer tastes, changing trends and financial pressures remain the omnipresent challenges faced by restaurants and cafes, but venues are also finding that making the transition into the digital world is becoming a bigger challenge every year.

Other industries can shift online easily, closing brick and mortar centres and delivering their services through digital channels. But, delivery services aside, the venue itself is a major part of the DNA of restaurants and cafes.

One way venues can move into the online world is through the use of platforms featuring loyalty and rewards programs, like Liven.

Over 300,000 Australians are registered with Liven’s app, where they can connect to over 700 participating venues in Sydney and Melbourne. Using the app, customers can earn LVN – a cryptocurrency that acts as a reward mechanism.

Customers can use LVN to purchase food and drink, as well as donate to charity or gift to friends and family. Not only does that help bring venues into the digital age, it also gives something back to their customers with Liven delivering an average reward of 20 percent across its range of participating restaurants.


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