Canberrans spend more on dining out, says survey

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IT’S been said that Canberra has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the country and now we know we’re spending more on dining out, too.

A new survey shows diners in the ACT spend an average of $82 each every time they dine out, which is 33 per cent more than the rest of the country.

The Dimmi Australian Dining Index has been compiled by online reservations site and reflects data collated from over 300,000 diners and 2000 restaurants.

Victorians were found to be the most social with 55 per cent of bookings made for three or more people, this stands in contrast to the Canberra average of 2.8 people.

When it comes to occasions, romance is king and Valentine’s Day remains the most popular day to dine out, followed by Christmas lunches in the weeks either side of Christmas Day.

Mother’s Day has tipped out Father’s Day as the second most popular day for dining out. However Father’s Day falls in September, which as it turns out is the month in which customer satisfaction is at its peak.

The gender divide is evident in our forward planning: men tend to leave matters to the last minute while women are better at planning for the future. A month out from the dining date, 62 per cent of all bookings are made by women, whereas 53 per cent of last minute bookings are made by men.

In good news for restaurateurs, Australian diners are generally very satisfied. When asked the question, “How likely are you to refer to a friend or colleague?” diners scored this question an average of 8.4 out of ten.

We are also becoming more tech-savvy, with a 67 per cent annual increase in online bookings. Diners in the ACT and Western Australia are leading the charge when it comes to booking online, closely followed by South Australia and NSW. The convenience of online bookings can be seen in the time of day when these bookings are made, with 55 per cent of online bookings taken when the restaurant is either closed or in the middle of service.

According to Dimmi Founder and CEO, Stevan Premutico, the results reflect a clear shift in the Australian dining scene.

“We’re definitely seeing a move away from fine dining towards value for money – around $50 seems to be the new threshold as diners seek out more casual options that offer great service and good food and wine at a reasonable price,” Premutico said.

While there are plenty of dining differences across the states, when it comes to what’s on our plates we are a nation united – Modern Australian and European-style restaurants are still our favourite across the board, with South American, Asian and Indian also making an appearance in the top five cuisines. Canberra’s top cuisines were Modern Australian, European, Italian and Halal.

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