The ABS Household Expenditure Survey (2000) found that the average household spent $127 a week on foods and non-alcoholic beverages, with meals eaten away from home occupying the largest percentage of this spending (26.77%). Spending on takeaway and fast foods accounted for 55.88% ($19 per week) of all meals when Australians ate out.
Spending on takeaway and restaurant meals had not risen dramatically since 1988, when it accounted for 25 per cent of the household food budget. In following decades that amount increased substantially.
By 2015/16, the ABS data showed the weekly amount spent on food and non-alcoholic beverages had risen to around $237, of which $95.05 was spent on restaurant meals and takeaway. That was about three times as much as households were spending on electricity bills or secondary education. However, people on government pensions spent considerably less on meals outside the home – an average of just $679 a year or just over $13 a week. According to the ABS data, millennials – adults under 24 – were the most likely to be eating at restaurants or ordering deliveries, spending an average of $100 a week. This was up from $73 six years before.
In 2019, Food and Beverage Media, the publishers of Hospitality magazine, produced a publication called Eating Out in Australia looking at Australians’ dining habits. Their research found that the takeaway food sector was a $22 billion market, with the average person buying takeaway food 65 times and spending $880 dollars each year. The average spend per person per transaction was $13.60.
According to the report, 10 per cent of takeaway meals were consumed at breakfast, 40 per cent at lunch and 50 per cent at dinner. It’s not clear how they defined a pie at the footy or a large chips at morning tea time. It seems that Melbourne people are the most likely to grab a takeaway for breakfast, while Sydney people are the most likely to get one for lunch.