Food driving pub visits, not drinks: Roy Morgan

08 September, 2015 by
Danielle Bowling

Recent findings from Roy Morgan Research show that the number of Australians going to the pub for a meal outstrips those going for just a drink.

In the 12 months to June 2015, 43 percent of Australians aged 18 years and over (equal to 7.9 million people), visited a pub or hotel at least once in any given three month period in order to eat a meal. This was more than double to proportion going purely for a drink (20 percent).

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Andrew Price, general manager of consumer products at Roy Morgan Research, said “A far greater number of Australians are visiting pubs and hotels to dine rather than for the sole purpose of having a tipple, a trend that has been helped along by the proliferation of ‘gastropubs’.

“Offering everything from Asian cuisine and gourmet pizzas to vegan burgers and Texas-style ribs, Aussie pub dining has come a long way since the humble counter meal. By positioning themselves as an affordable and appealing alternative to conventional restaurants, pubs are not only attracting patrons who might not otherwise have visited, they are also adapting to the national decline in alcohol consumption.

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“Of course, just because someone visits a pub for a meal rather than a drinking session doesn’t mean they won’t imbibe with their meal. Adults who dine at pubs are more than 20 percent more likely than the average Australian to agree that ‘I like to drink wine with my meals.’”

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Men are far more likely than women to visit a pub just for a drink – 25 percent versus 15 percent. However pub dining is far more balanced, with 44 percent of men and 42 percent of women having a meal at the pub in an average three month period.

Going to the pub for just a drink is most popular among younger Australians aged 18-24 (27 percent) and 25-34 (28 percent), dropping off sharply among those aged 50+. The 50-64 age bracket is more likely than any other group to grab a pub meal (45 percent), closely followed by 25-34 year-olds and  35-49 year olds (both at 44 percent).

Country residents are slightly more likely to dine at a pub (45 percent) than residents of capital cities (42 percent).

In a state-by-state comparison, South Australian are most likely to order a meal at a pub (54 percent), ahead of Victoria (47 percent), Western Australia (36 percent) and New South Wales (21 percent).