The recently released Dimmi Australian Dining Index showcases the ups and downs in dining trends occurring over the last 12 months, with the most significant numbers coming from the mobile sector. Diners are booking their dinners like they do everything else—on the go, with computer bookings dropping below mobile, which accounts for 52 per cent of web-based bookings. The trend isn’t new, of course. “We saw it happen with airlines and hotels, and now we’re seeing it with restaurants, too,” said Dimmi’s chief executive officer, Stevan Premutico.
Dimmi’s Dining Index shows that whilst the industry is, on the whole, down from last year [by 2.4 per cent year-on-year] people are spending more on their meals [by +0.37 per cent]. But that spending spread hasn’t been even across the market. The smallest amount of growth has been at the low end of the market, with a gain of only one per cent. The middle ground saw a healthy rise with a five per cent increase. However, the biggest growth arrived at the premium end of the market, with an impressive swell of 17 per cent.
Mobile bookings aren’t the only trend highlighted in the Dimmi Index. There’s been a strong move towards two sittings. The 7-9pm time slot is fading away as bookings for this time have dropped by eight per cent. Popular restaurants have been keeping up with demand by booking a 5-7pm sitting [up six per cent] and doubling their diners by following it with an 8-9pm sitting [up five per cent].
The Index also indicates that now is the time to foster corporate relationships, with big business back in the dining room. Online reservations from the top ten corporates has increased by 41 per cent. The financial sector in particular has ramped up its corporate dining reservations.
The gender gap still exists in the dining world, with men spending more than women. Yet, whilst men spend an average of $61 and women only $53, men are more likely to leave harsher reviews and book at the last minute.