13th Nov 2017

CommBank transaction data analysis reveals the high cost of eating out

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middle aged man eating burger
Leon Della Bosca

Australians are spending a small fortune to satisfy their food cravings, says CommBank.

The country’s addiction to fast food, ordering in and dining out is costing Aussies millions each month.

Analysis of CommBank transaction data has revealed that its customers alone spend more than $640 million per month on eating out.

Foodies are spending about $140 per month each at restaurants and around $90 per month on fast food.



Of the trackable transaction, almost 72 per cent of fast food purchases are made on debit cards, while 55 per cent of restaurant bills are paid with debit cards and the rest on credit cards.

CommBank’s Executive General Manager of Digital, Pete Steel, says that customers should think carefully how they pay for food purchases, especially considering the nation’s credit card debt sits at $51.3 billion with about $31.4 billion of that accruing interest.

“The RBA said about 85 per cent of all transactions are non-cash now, so we think as money is getting invisible it’s a lot easier to spend,” said Mr Steel.

“When it comes to debit or credit, responsible budgeting and cash flow management is the key. Whether you are taking a monthly line of credit or whether you are spending directly out of your account, the key is to understand what you are spending.

“Everyday spending can amount to a lot of money at the end of the month, and sometimes it’s hard to see where your money is going, or why we spend more at different times of the year.”

The rise of ‘tap and go’ payments could be to blame for the increase of impulsive spending, says Rising Tide Financial Services’ Managing Director Chris Browne

 “They are not taking cash out of their wallet and paying for their takeaway, they are rushing out their card and they are done,” said Mr Browne.

“You need to quantify the expense you would suffer if you take your family to a restaurant, for example is it worth taking them to a restaurant and paying $100 if I can make the same meal for $20 and make it at home.

“The reality is a lot of people are under pressure and working harder and longer because they have skyrocketing mortgages so inevitably they are going to eat takeaway and eat out.”

How much do you spend each month on fast food and dining out? Do you think that tap and go payment systems are encouraging you to spend more, or making it more difficult for you to track your spending? What discourages you from cooking and eating at home?

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COMMENTS

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MICK
13th Nov 2017
10:43am
Well there you have it. Spending up on convenience food and then claiming no money for electricity bills and the like. Give us a break.
Anonymous
13th Nov 2017
3:25pm
Add booze to the list, Mick.
FrankC
14th Nov 2017
2:25pm
And cigarettes !
Old Geezer
13th Nov 2017
11:16am
I hate eating out as it's not as good as I cook at home myself.
MICK
13th Nov 2017
11:31am
I have no issue with people who choose to eat out but it gripes me when people claim hardship whilst doing this.
You are correct Geezer. Home cooking is often equal to restaurant food although it is nice to experience different flavours occasionally. I have no issues there given my wife cooks as good as restaurants anyway.
Old Geezer
13th Nov 2017
12:14pm
I seem to always come away very disappointed with the food and service. Chefs today have no idea how to cook food well instead just make it look like pieces of art. If you want art go to an art gallery not a restaurant!
Rosret
13th Nov 2017
1:38pm
No OG that is so true. It is about speed and profits.
Eating out almost certainly feeds the obesity crisis. Fat, salt and sugar and massive portion sizes.
Happy cyclist
13th Nov 2017
2:39pm
Goodness, considering the huge number of cafes and restaurants available in all but the small towns today, how can you say "chefs have no idea how to cook food"? It might be more due to the choices you make. If you choose only the junk food chains then sure the food is rubbish, likewise maybe the food courts in malls. But there are many really good cafes and restaurants where they serve excellent food. Of course they are trying to make a profit, they are not charities, but i bet I could find you lots of good food where you live as long as you are prepared to pay for it, and I don't mean pay a fortune but if you think 2.95 can buy you a burger then it's your tastebuds which are letting you down.
Old Geezer
13th Nov 2017
4:22pm
I'm yet to find any that serve decent food and I'm not talking about 2.95 burgers either. Did you know it is cheaper to buy a burger and get a free coffee than just to buy a coffee at the golden arches? Just take the coffee and tell them to keep the burger.
Triss
13th Nov 2017
4:26pm
I agree with you, Happy cyclist.
Rae
13th Nov 2017
5:15pm
I agree happy cyclist but as you say it is expensive. We've eaten some great food recently but it was expensive. Also had some appallingly bad food as well which wasn't cheap.

It wasn't a fortune but with drinks we were looking at around $180 for three people. That seemed average.

Not sure how an OAP with a home to maintain affords that.
Radish
14th Nov 2017
5:13pm
Many these days do not know HOW to cook or have the inclination. Fast food is easy and they do not care about the expense it would appear.

Also when the bills come in it is easy to trot along to Anglicare or one of the other agencies for a hand out with the bills. I know all about it...have seen it first hand.
Rae
13th Nov 2017
12:24pm
Eating out is getting far too expensive. I'm on the West Coast and have been eating out and am amazed by the high costs of food and beverages. At home I don't eat out.

Even just a coffee and roll can cost $20 these days. Steak, salad and chips over $30.

Yet everywhere I went there were a lot of retirees obviously able to spend.

Either they have disposable income and are not on the OAP or they are spending a fair whack of the fortnightly budget.

Food and drinks requiring heating, cooking, refrigeration will rise as the energy prices cut in so I expect higher prices by Christmas.
Old Geezer
13th Nov 2017
1:04pm
One has to laugh as you see lots of grey nomads parked in free camps but enjoying themselves at nearest café or pub. I would not be surprised that it actually costs them more than if they paid for their overnight stay. I know one pub cost me over $50 for a meal and it's rarely over $30 a night to stay in a caravan park.
Rosret
13th Nov 2017
1:41pm
Grey Nomads are not short of a penny. Its a life style.
Happy cyclist
13th Nov 2017
2:53pm
Why do you think towns provide free parking and allow free camping for grey nomads? Because they stop and spend money on lunch etc! Why on earth shouldn't they camp free where legal and then repay the town by spending up on food? Really, you are so negative OG.
Triss
13th Nov 2017
4:13pm
It's unfortunate that the elderly are so dstinctive by their wrinkles and white hair, if they weren't they'd look like everyone else and elderly bashers wouldn't be able to separate them out. There's a law that doesn't allow people to be nasty about different skin tones, perhaps we need another one that says people are not allowed to be nasty about those with wrinkled skin either.
Radish
14th Nov 2017
5:15pm
For every person on this site who cries poor and says they cannot manage on what they get via government there are plenty of retirees out there living the good life.

Go to any caravan park in northern Australia and see how full the caravan parks etc are with grey nomads.
Old Geezer
15th Nov 2017
11:39am
Agree one has to book months in advance for a bit of dirt in Northern Australia during nomad season.

Was going to spend a few days in one town and knew it was busy so went to the information centre and asked them about getting into the showground. Was told that I had to ring every caravan park in town and if they were all full to ring the first one again and I could stay at showground. I just said I have a better idea and I'll just move on to the next free campsite instead and walked out. Found a National Park campground 50 kms away and there was only a couple of us there.
Eddy
13th Nov 2017
12:47pm
One point not mentioned in this article is that much or the food consumed in bistros and clubs is pre-prepared, effectively convenience food. This is not to say the food in clubs and bistros is not nutritious, but it not as fresh as home cooking They buy salads in bulk, vegetables ready to either cook or reheat and fish and most meats prepared and frozen (eg chicken parmigiana crumbed and precooked), all it needs is re-heating in a microwave before serving). Even bakeries buy bread and cake mixes (which include flour , flavours, colouring and egg powder), all they have to do is add is water or milk and bake. There are some top end restaurants which prepare from scratch; they can beat home cooked in variety but not in either quality or price
Old Geezer
13th Nov 2017
1:05pm
Bakeries in supermarkets buy the bread dough and just bake it too. Comes in fresh every night.
KSS
13th Nov 2017
1:02pm
“The reality is a lot of people are under pressure and working harder and longer because they have skyrocketing mortgages so inevitably they are going to eat takeaway and eat out.”

I don't believe it is 'inevitable' at all. Convenient certainly, laziness probably, lack of cooking skills quite likely. However, having decided to blow the money on fast food and the like, it is disingenuous to then cry poor.
Raphael
13th Nov 2017
1:31pm
I don’t know about these fools but when I was younger and struggling , I came home and cooked no matter how late in the night it was , to save money

Usually had leftovers or cooked in advance and frozen
Rosret
13th Nov 2017
1:45pm
Pre-planning Raphael. What is the world coming to? hehe
KSS I am starting to think some of the younger generation actually have lost the "how to" and certainly more and more don't seem to know what they are eating is so bad for them.
MICK
13th Nov 2017
1:47pm
Are you serious KSS? Eating out may save you time but it costs a bucket compared to making your own. Home made is mostly more nourishing as well.
Being time poor is an issue but there are ways around that like a cooking afternoon Sundays? Oh yeah...the footy, the show to go to, the social engagements. I get it.
KSS
13th Nov 2017
2:06pm
Back in your box Mick. I am not defending the profligate spending on restaurants or take-aways. I don't believe it is either cheaper or faster than cooking at home - which is something I have done since the age of 11 and still do to this day.

There were plenty of families in the '60s for example where there were three or four kids and both Mum and Dad worked full time. 'Latch key kids' we were called. And yet there was always a home cooked meal on the table. After all, except for fish and chips (a very rare treat on even rarer holidays) or the local 'Chinese Chippy' there just wasn't fast food to get - especially with the shops closing at 5.30pm (1pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays and shut all day Sunday) as well!
Triss
13th Nov 2017
4:19pm
In the '60s, Mick, it was expected that the mother, however tired or ill, would stagger round and get a home cooked meal on the table. Nowadays she's allowed to feel too bone tired to stand on her aching legs and feet and start cooking at 7.00pm at night, especially when there's a delivery meal service down the road.
Raphael
13th Nov 2017
1:27pm
Great for the hospitality industry
Keeeping Aussies employed
MICK
13th Nov 2017
1:49pm
On 4 hour shifts any time of the day/week with penalty rates being pulled out from under their feet by the current crooked government giving workers' money to the rich by way of tax cuts.
I don't call that 'employment'. I call that 21st century slavery. Shame on you Raphael!
Rae
13th Nov 2017
2:02pm
MICK a lot are students and the hours suit them. They can only earn so much before losing study grants anyway.

The great ones get tips as well. Surprising more don't actually offer great or pleasant service.

I'll be back to frugal next week and can't wait.

Eating out is not exactly that pleasant these days. Most places are noisy, busy and have very ordinary menus or too fancy and expensive to actually enjoy.
Raphael
13th Nov 2017
2:02pm
Well they’re employed and not on the dole aren’t they

Slave labor ? -rubbish . I wouldn’t call $20-$30 an hour slave labor
Tzuki
13th Nov 2017
2:40pm
I used to eat out once a week. Now, it may be once in 8 weeks and that is to catch up with friends. If they just wanted a coffee or even a wine, I would be happy. I hear that a lot of seniors take advantage of our local pub that offers $5 lunch meals. I haven't eaten there myself, but hope it is nutritious for them. At least they get to have food prepared for them and catch up with friends. Sometimes it isn't the food but the company that is important.
Rae
13th Nov 2017
5:21pm
Yes I agree. We used to have a Saturday night dinner with friend where everyone would bring a plate on a rotation system. Taking turns at providing the protein, carbo, salad/vege dish and sweets.

It was great and cost very little.
Triss
13th Nov 2017
3:22pm
Marvellous, isn't it! Government and banks are trying to fast track everyone into a cashless society and then have the gall to look down on everyone because they use their credit cards.
Raphael
13th Nov 2017
3:35pm
Don’t know what you’re conplaininh about .
They are providing good stats and looking out for our welfare
We are eating too much junk food and spending a lot on eating out instead of paying off the mortgage
Triss
13th Nov 2017
4:23pm
Government and banks looking out for our welfare, surely you jest.
Government and banks only look out for their own welfare and the welfare of their wealthy cronies.
Raphael
13th Nov 2017
5:17pm
so the bank provided this info on spending habits to rip us off ?

what the hell is wrong with you people - never met a bunch of negative nellies in all my life
Rae
13th Nov 2017
5:25pm
I agree people seem to be eating out all over these days and perhaps they need to pay down mortgages. Then again perhaps their at the stage where they just don't give a rat's anymore.

When the banisters start whining about our indulgences you have to laugh at them Raphael. They should talk.

If we all stayed home they'd soon start whinging as the restaurants go bankrupt.

This whole article is a beat up.
Triss
13th Nov 2017
9:42pm
A bunch of Negative Nellies, Raphael, - no -a bunch of realists. Commonwealth Bank has just had to refund $10 million to customers that the bank should not have charged. The same bank is fighting a class action from shareholders. How have you missed those snippets? Most certainly not looking after our welfare. How much money would customers have lost if they hadn't complained?
ex PS
17th Nov 2017
6:04pm
We can afford to eat out because we have paid off the mortgage, in fact we have paid off everything and the banks now send us money quarterly. We have done this so that we can afford to indulge ourselves, but some people seem to have it the wrong way round, they want to indulge themselves now and will winge about not being able to afford a home later.
It is simple really, if you really want something, you have to save and be prepared to go without a few things in the short term. Learn how to make the Sunday Roast stretch to three meals like most of the Boomers did.
The banks are looking after me now, only because they have no choice, I own part of them.

13th Nov 2017
3:24pm
This greed is also why Australia has a massive obesity problem, with the consequent health problems (diabetes and its complications, cardiovascular issues, and so forth).
Cheezil61
13th Nov 2017
4:02pm
Wouldn't it be nice to have that sort of money to 'spare/spend' on not having to cook! I wish!
Old Geezer
13th Nov 2017
4:17pm
Some banks are now allowing you to turn off your tap and go online for your debit and credit cards. You can also turn off overseas transactions too.
Rae
13th Nov 2017
5:29pm
I went online for my flight seating today OG. Normally I sort it at checkin but that is automated now.

Seems we are all working to save the corporations from employing anyone much.

Pumping our petrol, ordering out stuff, processing, handling, collecting yep silly us.

No point whining when there are no jobs left though is there.

And no income taxes being paid either.
Triss
13th Nov 2017
9:50pm
That concerns me as well, Rae. I make a point of not checking out my own groceries in the supermarket. I watch everyone queue to check their own purchases out free when the supermarkets used to pay an employee to do that. Supermarkets must save four or five pay checks every week. Who are the stupid ones?
Raphael
14th Nov 2017
1:50am
People like you are Triss
The self checkouts lower cost of operations for the supoermarjets allowing them to keep prices low
A win win for the customer and supermarket

Why don’t you shop in a supermarket that has no technology employed and see how much extra you pay
Triss
14th Nov 2017
2:51pm
I have done, Raphael, and there was a slight variation on items but the total cost was the same as the customer check out supermarket.
Actually, the lower cost of operation for the supermarkets has not happened due to crafty customers. Self-serve machines have allowed shoppers to bypass the scan on items or pass off more expensive fruit, vegetables and bakery products as cheaper products.
musicveg
14th Nov 2017
2:56pm
Triss, our local IGA are hardly using the self-serve check-out because they cannot afford to employ an extra person to oversee them, said they were getting too many people not scanning (effectively robbing them).
Rae
15th Nov 2017
9:33am
Yes music veg I was in the US when they decided they needed check out operators again. Conning the machines had become a game the customers were winning.
niemakawa
13th Nov 2017
5:44pm
The Government wanting to make Australia a "cashless" society and yet then tell us the pitfalls. Can't have it both ways. At least with debit cards money must be in the account. Credit cards on the other hand are open to äbuse"by some and they max their card(s) out for the little extras in life. Their is no easy answer, everyone has different needs and "emotions"
MD
13th Nov 2017
8:15pm
Scare mongering tactics - the likes of these so called - data summaries often are a gimmick used by parties interested in generating returns.
Some of the generalities that identify a particular demographic rarely justify or explain how or why the findings are being aimed at a particular market segment.The percentages of those paying by debit card vs those using credit explains little of relevance to pensioners. Aren't the banks satisfied with current profit levels ?
Contrary to some claims, witness to "nomads" living it up by dining out is by no means indicative of all "nomads". Or for that matter, what if they are ? Although society mostly categorizes retirees as 'pensioners' does not mean everyone in this group should be excluded from the odd dining out experience regardless of whether or not others fail to see any value in the various available venues.
For those on the pension, should they now take heed of this riveting info and henceforth cease and desist from the odd fast food takeaway or the occasional pig-out at an 'all you can eat' ? I don't need to remind anyone game enough to try and stop these feeding frenzies would be similar to any attempt at diverting a bloat (herd) of hippo's charging into their favourite mud soak.

Lifestyle changes in an ever changing world are to be expected, such is the way of progress and if in the process it helps keep an employee intense restaurant industry viable then let em eat cake. The fatties are happy, banks turn an extortionate profit whilst the remainder dine at Mamma's cafe and blow their dough elsewhere. Bon appetit.
musicveg
14th Nov 2017
12:38am
Eating out is such a rip off, I gave it up after getting gastro a few years ago, I now don't trust anyone to cook my food. The money I save fills my fridge with heaps of organic wholefoods. I even now make my own bread, hard a first but once you get the hang of it, it is so rewarding and enjoyable.
Raphael
14th Nov 2017
1:53am
I agree on hygiene and quality - you can’t beat home cooking
I can make just as tasty if not better at home and I enjoy it
It’s a pleasure to cook not a chore
Argydubbaya
14th Nov 2017
12:45am
Buy local, pay cash or trade,cook or eat raw, cut out the banks, the government, the supermarkets and save save save with the added benefit of eating healthy fresh chemical free food. You may even cur out your doctors bills too. It's all relevant.
KB
15th Nov 2017
2:29pm
I eat at home. I keep eating out for special occasions such as birthdays Mothers Day and other special events.Many I heard about one Café in Adelaide who is going cashless which means that you have to use your credit cards.Unfortunately we will have to pay for food by credit cards. Credits will be used more and more. Not happy about that
ex PS
17th Nov 2017
5:52pm
We eat out about once a month, we go to a good restaurant have a meal that we would not normally make for ourselves and indulge in a good wine. Because we do it rarely it is a real treat. Eating out is more than just the food, it gives us a chance to just talk and relax and forget about mundane day to day problems.
We do not indulge in takeaway more than once or twice a year as it has no attraction for us and when we do it is normally Thai or Indian. I think the rise in the use of fast food is due to people being time poor just as much as being about economics.


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