What’s next for restaurant booths in Australia
AUSTRALIA’S best restaurants are set to become some of the biggest attractions of the year.
The Australian Restaurants Association says that in 2020, the total number of restaurants will be around 2.5 million, up from 1.5-2 million in 2020.
That’s down from 3.6 million in 2019, but still a substantial increase over the 5-10 million mark that existed in 2016.
In the coming year, the association predicts, the number of restaurant booths will increase by a further 4.8 million, and it expects the number to grow by another 1.4 million by 2020.
But some restaurateurs are sceptical about how big the growth will be, saying they have been waiting too long for it to happen.
The Association says the restaurant industry is set to see a 30 per cent increase in revenue from 2019 to 2020.
However, it has warned that a 20 per cent rise is “not sustainable”, and that the industry is not yet ready to absorb the additional costs.
The association says the growth of restaurants has been slowing since the end of the Great Recession, and its annual conference in Brisbane this week was focused on that.
It is also predicting that the number will decline by around 15 per cent in 2020 from 2019.
However the association says that the restaurant sector is on track to make $1.4 billion in profit by 2020, and that it is expecting a further $1 billion in operating profit in the next financial year.
The association said the industry has been operating on a “steady and sustainable path” for a number of years.
“The business model is operating at a level that is sustainable and is generating strong economic and social benefits for Australians,” it said.
“There is also a strong emphasis on the growth potential of our hospitality industry, which is set for an increase of nearly 30 per-cent by 2020.”
The growth of restaurant outlets in Australia has been slow, however.
It is the first year since the Great Depression that the proportion of Australian restaurant outlets has increased, to around 30 per per cent, up only slightly from 29 per cent.
But the association has warned against complacency, saying it needs to be realistic about the size of the future.
“We are seeing signs that the hospitality industry is going to experience a substantial growth in the future, which we believe will result in higher profits, but at a time when Australia is struggling economically and the global economy is also struggling,” it says.
“The increase in the number and size of restaurant businesses is not sustainable and will not be sustainable for the foreseeable future.”
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