The upside: Aussies plan to dine out more

18th August 2020 | Eativity editors

With Australia’s COVID-19 case numbers still up, Aussies are accepting the fact that overseas and interstate travel and big events are not going to be possible for some time to come. But there is an upside to all of this: it’s having an effect on how we spend our money, with many of us now focused on going out to local cafes and restaurants instead.

For cities out of lockdown, restaurants and cafes can take comfort in the fact that Australians list eating out as the top way they’ll be spending money over the next one to two months. According to the latest research from consumer insights provider Toluna, despite 40 percent of people saying they plan to be more careful about where they spend their money, 45 percent are planning on eating out in the coming months.

There’s never been a better time to catch up with friends over brunch.

This figure is even higher in states with low case numbers – 49 percent of those in South Australia, 51 percent of Tasmanians and 60 percent of Western Australians are all planning to eat out more. And with 30 percent of those surveyed not wanting to book travel right now and 27 percent holding off on booking tickets to an event until after August next year, there’s likely to be more discretionary funds available to spend on eating out.

“With the country in various stages of lockdown, Australians have adjusted to the reality that travel and big-ticket events are going to be off the cards for some time,” says Stephen Walker, Business Director, Toluna, Australia & New Zealand. “This has made consumers more cautious with their spending, but the good news for local cafes and retailers is that they are still spending, and eating out is high on the agenda.”

Aussies are still shopping in-store more than online, and are still stocking up.

When it comes to groceries, we’re still more likely to shop in-store, with only 19 percent of Toluna survey respondents shopping online in the past few weeks. But the possibility of more lockdowns is still on people’s minds, with more of us stocking up on long-life or canned goods, frozen food, hand sanitiser, vitamins and – of course – toilet paper.

However, with supply chains not yet back to normal, Aussie shoppers are still faced with some scarcity in supermarkets, with 20 percent of us having to shop around from store to store to find what we want. A quarter of us have had to go without something we’d normally buy, and 20 percent have paid more for items than they would have before the crisis.