One ’treat’ Australians refuse to give up amid rising cost of living

As many Australians struggle with increasing cost of living, a new report shows there is one thing we are still willing to splurge on: dining out.

A huge 73 per cent of Aussies who participated in American Express’ latest global Trendex survey say they are dining out either the same amount or more often compared to last year.

For Gen Z and Millennials, that number is even higher at 79 per cent. Of the two generations, 37 per cent said they were interested in dining at a restaurant if it was trending on social media.

And Aussie foodies are willing to spend on luxury experiences.

Of all those dining out, 34 per cent said they typically go to fine dining restaurants.

That is more than any other country surveyed as part of the report, including the US, Canada, UK and Japan.

The majority of Aussies (89 per cent) consider eating out a restaurant as a way to treat themselves, according to Trendex.

Daniel Thomas, American Express Australia’s vice president of travel and lifestyle services, told news.com.au it was actually unsurprising to see how much people were still spending on restaurants and cafes.

“Dining out is at the heart of the Australian way of life, and has become more of a ritual that many are not prepared to give up, at both the affordable and fine dining ends of the spectrum, so we weren’t all that surprised to see how important this has remained,” he said.

“Australians are choosing dining options more carefully to get great value from eating out.

“It’s also evident the need to connect with family, friends, community over good food is still really important for Australians.”

As for fine dining, Mr Thomas said Aussies were lucky to have a lot of options.

“In Australia, and especially post pandemic, fine dining is nationwide, and while many fine dining establishments are located in major and capital cities, there are more of these restaurants based in regional and local hotspots now too,” he said.

While Australians were the most interested in fine dining compared to other countries in the survey, 75 per cent still agreed they seek out deals and promotions at restaurants when choosing where to go.

Among families, 77 per cent of Aussie parents said they seek out “kids eat free” venues.

Australians aren’t just a big fan of dining out domestically.

When they are travelling overseas, other than flights and accommodation, 65 per cent said they spend the most money on eating out at restaurants.

A whopping 98 per cent of Australians surveyed said they plan to take a vacation this year.

To make it happen, 92 per cent reported using a “travel hack” in the last six months such as having a credit card to earn points that can be cashed in for travel rewards.

The survey was conducted in August among a national sample of 1000 Australians, as well as 2000 people in the US, 1000 in Canada, 1000 in Japan, 1000 in the UK and 400 in Mexico.

Participants had a household income of at least $50,000 and were adults who typically travel by air at least once a year.

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