Fast food, din­ing out cost $640 mil­lion

Herald Sun - - NEWS - LAU­REN ROBERTS AND CASSIE ZERVOS lau­ren.roberts@news.com.au

BURGER lov­ing Aussies are spend­ing more than $640 mil­lion ev­ery month on greasy fast food and restau­rants, new re­search shows.

Com­mon­wealth Bank data re­veals its av­er­age Aussie cus­tomer is spend­ing about $90 a month on fast food, a 20 per cent in­crease since July 2015, and $143 each month on restau­rants, up 6 per cent in two years.

On av­er­age, Vic­to­ri­ans spend $79.89 a month on fast food, and $109.63 a month at restau­rants — well be­low NSW big spenders who splurge $84.19 on fast food and $129.57 at restau­rants.

In fact, de­spite our known ob­ses­sion with cafe cul­ture, Vic­to­ri­ans spend less each month on fast food and restau­rants than ev­ery state ex­cept Tas­ma­nia. Western Aus­tralians spent an av­er­age $129.26 a month on restau­rants and $83.59 on fast food, com­pared to Queens­lan­ders who spent $117.84 and $81.72 re­spec­tively.

Mel­bourne’s Tom Cran­tock said he splurged on fast­food at least three times a week for con­ve­nience.

“Burg­ers are def­i­nitely my go-to be­cause there’s so much va­ri­ety and I pre­fer to buy them than cook­ing,” he said.

“I know it’s prob­a­bly bet­ter to cook but when there’s so many dif­fer­ent op­tions it’s just eas­ier to eat out.”

The 24-year-old said he spends close to $150 a week on fast food.

“It varies de­pend­ing on how of­ten I buy food out but I def­i­nitely reckon it’s close to $150,” he said. “It’s not nec­es­sar­ily on bad take­away but I of­ten go the un­healthy op­tion ... it’s just eas­ier.”

But Mr Cran­tock’s girl­friend, Limy O’Don­nell, said she only ate fast food when she was with her boyfriend.

“I don’t of­ten get take­away but when I do I al­ways try to look for the health­i­est op­tion,” she said.

Com­mon­wealth Bank ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager dig­i­tal Pete Steel said din­ing out was most pop­u­lar among mil­len­ni­als.

“Peo­ple un­der 30 make up al­most half of all fast food pur­chases, and a third of restau­rants’ trade — in­ter­est­ingly, they’re not the ones spend­ing the most money,” he said.

“Cus­tomers aged 40 to 45 spend the most, po­ten­tially be­cause they are pur­chas­ing meals for a fam­ily. Those aged be­tween 50 and 55 spend the most in restau­rants.”

Tom Cran­tock and Limy O’Don­nell en­joy a burger. Pic­ture: SARAH MATRAY

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