The takeout habit could be the next victim of inflation

“We will see a moderation in hospitality that will benefit the supermarket business,” he said.

The hospitality industry’s resilience will be shown on Tuesday, when new retail sales data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show how the restaurant, cafe and takeaway sector fared in January. There are signs that spending growth is plateauing, with monthly sales remaining relatively flat between November and late last year.

The country’s restaurants and takeaways have boomed since COVID restrictions were lifted — monthly industry sales jumped from $3.1 billion in August 2021 to $5.1 billion in December 2022, according to ABS -Show data.

Domino’s shocked its shareholders last week when it reported that sales growth for the six months ended December was weaker than expected.

Chief Executive Don Meij said the company misunderstood how it passed the rising costs on to customers after increases in product prices and delivery fees caused customers in markets like France and Japan to order less.

Despite difficult conditions, he was optimistic about how low-cost takeaway operators could hold their own in this environment.

“Consumer sentiment is lower, but the fast-food industry is buoyant,” he said.

Other local quick-service retail brands are also optimistic about attracting customers despite the cost-of-living crisis.

The founder of burger franchise Grill’d, Simon Crowe, said in early February the chain tends to “gain a net influx of diners” as consumers tighten their belts and diners shift from premium options to fast food.

Boost Juice and Betty’s Burgers’ Retail Zoo boss Nishad Alani also pointed out that diners wanted “affordable indulgence” during tough economic times.

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Brian Lowry

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