According to research from Edith Cowan University, the WA mining boom added $4.8 billion to the state’s dining industry between 2004 and 2015.

The industry saw a further $900 million boost attributable to factors such as a growing coffee culture, the proliferation of small bars, busier lifestyles and food fashion, — including the rise of cooking shows — and dining apps.

From 2004 to 2015, the dining industry grew by 139 percent, with a 69 percent spike in employment.

“The mining boom accounted for more than half of the growth in the dining industry during this time, with the remainder attributable to growth that would have occurred anyway,” says Robert Powell, professor of finance from ECU’s School of Business and Law.

“WA’s dining boom was almost double that experienced in the rest of Australia and had twice the growth of the state’s grocery industry.”

Sixty-nine percent of this expansion occurred in greater Perth.

Powell says that if the boom had never happened, WA dining would have increased in value by $3.3 billion based on historical trends related to spending, population growth and consumer preferences.

In total, the dining sector added an extra $8.9 billion to the WA economy during the boom years.

However, in 2016, dining industry jobs fell by five per cent, with full-time employment dropping by 25 percent and part-time employment rising by nine percent.

There was also a swing away from cafes and restaurants, which contracted by two percent, and a move towards more takeaways, a sector that rose by 3.75 percent.

“As spending on eating out is a discretionary household purchase, it is volatile and reacts to shocks, whether at the local or global level,” says Powell.

“These correlations provide evidence of the strong link between mining and dining.”

The impact of the mining boom on the dining industry in Western Australia was recently published in the Australasian Journal of Regional Studies.

Image credit: Hidden City Secrets

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