A major new market research report* shows that Australians spend $45 billion a year eating out – that’s nearly $100 per household per week.

There are 24 million Australians, and they eat out on average of two to three times a week. To save you doing the calculations, that’s over 50 million meals out each week, or 2.5 billion in a year.

Australians are eating healthier, and cuisine choices are changing. But they are also getting harder to please, with many operators complaining that customers are becoming more demanding and ruder.

There are nearly 82,000 places for Australians to eat out, including 22,000 restaurants, 6,983 pubs and 6,413 clubs. There are also over 29,000 fast food outlets and 21,000 cafés and coffee shops.

This data is contained in a new report from Intermedia, which publishes trade titles including Hospitality Magazine, Australian Hotelier and Bars and Clubs Magazine. ‘Eating Out in Australia’ is a major research project that analyses the market for eating out in Australia in a way that has never previously been attempted.*

Some highlights from the research include:

  • Staffing issues will not go away. It is the biggest challenge facing the industry by a significant margin.  Concerns over difficulty in finding and retaining staff are widespread, as are complaints about poor work ethic, especially among casual staff, and a lack of skills.
  • People are eating healthier food. Venues are reporting rises in healthy foods and cuisines, with less healthier offerings in decline. Healthier cuisines like Japanese are becoming more popular, while those regarded as less healthy, such as steak houses, are old favourites like Chinese and Italian, though still popular, are declining.
  • Consumer tastes are changing. The low end is moving up-market, while the high end is moving down. Fast food is moving towards a more dining experience with “fast casual”, while the upper end of the market is becoming less exclusive.
  • Consumers are increasingly booking online, though phone calls are still the most common way to book a table, and they often rely on online recommendations.
  • Marketing is becoming more important. Good marketing can be the difference between success and failure in the dining business. An online presence is vitally important, but there is still no substitute for an appealing looking venue or “shopfront”.
  • Customers are becoming harder to please. Venue operators have noticed customers are expecting more and are more likely to complain if they do not get it. Customers are also often demanding, inconsiderate or downright rude.
  • Alcohol consumption is declining. All age groups, except the under 30s say they are drinking less alcohol. But while they are drinking less, they are moving towards more expensive products and they are drinking more often at home. Random breath testing and the move to healthier living have had significant effects on the amount of alcohol consumed when eating out.
  • The old cuisines are declining. Modern Australian, healthy eating, seafood, vegetarian and Japanese are on the rise. Chinese and Italian are still popular, but on the decline.  The biggest drops have been in fast food like McDonalds and KFC and also American style burgers, BBQ & Steak Houses.

For further information, you can download a summery of the report here >> eatingoutinaustralia_2017_respondent-summary-1


If you would like the full ‘State of the Industry’ report, it is available for purchase on the Intermedia website.  Click here to access >>




For more information call report author Graeme Philipson on 0418 609 397, or email him at

The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd (ABN 94 002 583 682)

41 Bridge Rd Glebe NSW 2037 Australia Phone: +61 2 9660 2113