The American Express Dining Insights survey showed that one in five Australians are dining out more than they were 12 months ago, a trend reflected in the corporate dining sector, with almost 50 percent of full-time workers dining at corporate lunches or dinners.
These results indicate that the last remnants of the GFC have been cast off by corporate Australia, according to the Vice President Merchant Services Australia at American Express Geoff Begg.
“During the GFC, many companies put a hold on corporate entertainment, however with the resurgence of the economy businesses are now more open to investing in corporate lunches and dinners,” said Mr Begg.
“While the research doesn’t necessarily flag the return of the long lunch, it does mean companies recognise the value of corporate dining in furthering business relationships.”
“Companies looking to build networks and develop business through corporate entertainment are still on the lookout for value for money,” Mr Begg added.
The survey found that the key considerations when choosing a restaurant for a business lunch or dinner are a good menu, with 82 percent of respondents marking this as their top priority, an environment that is not too noisy, with 76 percent, and a place that is convenient or close by, with 67 percent. However, more than half of respondents also looked for value for money, ambience and easy parking when choosing a restaurant for business dining.
Restaurants that maintained loyal business clients throughout the GFC are already reaping the rewards and building their client base up, affirmed Mr Begg.
“The restaurants which effectively managed the decline in corporate dining during the GFC by creating special menus and offers, are best poised to take advantage of the return of the business lunch,‟ Mr Begg said.