Dining industry clawing its way back

It’s been a tough slog for the Australian restaurant industry in recent years, but the latest survey data shows that the industry grew by 3.17% nationally over the last financial year.

The latest findings from the Dimmi Australian Dining Index 2013 show that after a period of poor growth, the average restaurant spend is picking up. Nationally, it currently sits at $54 a head.

The restaurant booking website compiled data from some 2,500 restaurants, to break down the spending habits of Australian diners by state. The key findings were:

  • The ACT grew by the largest margin: 10.8%
  • NSW by 6.3%,
  • SA 4.7%,
  • Victoria retracted with a decline of -0.4%.

Overall, ACT diners remain the biggest spenders at $71, followed by South Australians at $61 and Victorians the lowest at $53. Western Australia has seen a massive growth in spend at 12.2%, while Victorian spend growth also dropped by -2.3%.

Times remain toughest for Victorian restaurants, which is reflected in the closure of a number of high profile restaurants.

Alongside the rapid growth of mobile usage, mobile bookings now represent 33% of all online bookings, up from just 8% in the previous two years.

Notably, the most popular days for making bookings are Tuesdays, whilst the most popular dining days remain the stalwart Friday and Saturday night slots. Pre-dinner bookings in the 6.30-7.00pm experienced a spike, which is key for the restaurant industry to maximise profits.

However, the days of the corporate long lunch continue to die a slow death. Lunch data revealed a further decline of -0.04%.

“Lunch remains the Achilles heel of the industry and goes to the heart of a restaurants ability to boost its profitability. Restaurants can’t be sustainable if they are empty at lunch. We need to fight together to get Australian’s back to lunch,” Stevan Premutico, Dimmi CEO said.

“The differences really show us how Australians are changing the way they dine and book. We are booking more often, spending less and booking closer to our dining experience,” he added.

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