Source: The Mercury, 16 October, 1994, p.9
by Michelle Coffey Australians spend an average of about $700 a year on eating out, creating a $12-billion-a- year industry. An average of one in four meals, including snacks, is eaten away from home, a major study releas- ed yesterday shows. It said there were nearly 20,000 restaurants and cafes, 14,500 takeaway outlets and 2600 fast- food chains across the country. The dine-out boom of the past decade has caused a 150 per cent jump in the number of restaurants and cafes and a trebling of fast food chain outlets. Victoria tops the country in the fast-food stakes with 10 outlets for every 10,000 people and that state is a stronghold of Italian restaurants. But Victoria's reputation as the cafe capital has taken a batter- ing with NSW having almost twice as many coffee shops. An extensive study of the food service industry by market re- searchers BIS Shrapnel has found Australians spend $5.5 billion a year in restaurants and cafes and $5 billion a year at fast-food and takeaway outlets. Author of The Australian Food- service Market (1994-96) Dr. Sandro Mangosi gave two main reasons for the boom. "Since 1984 we have seen a huge increase in the number of dual- income homes where partners are working, increasing available income and leaving less time for cooking", Dr. Mangosi said. "The other contributing factor has been the enormous increase in tourism which has gone from a virtually insignificant indust- ry to now having almost two million visitors to Australia every year". Dr. Mangosi said there was a dang- er takeaway food operators would be squeezed out by the fast-food chains. Australia still lagged a long way behind America in fast-food outlets - the major chains in Australia at present had 14.6 outlets per 100,000 people, compared to 27.7 per 100,000 in the United States.
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