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8655.0 - Cafes and Restaurants, Australia, 1998-99  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2000   
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Cafes and restaurants generate over seven billion dollars in income


Cafe and restaurant businesses in Australia generated $7,174 million in total income during 1998-99, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This comprised 12,845 businesses employing 152,107 people.

Of the total income of $7,174 million, a little over half (55 per cent) was accounted for by takings from food consumed on the premises, a further 18 per cent from catering services and 16 per cent from the sale of beverages. Licensed cafes and restaurants generated $3,050 million (43 per cent) of this income followed by catering businesses ($1,497 million) and unlicensed cafes and restaurants ($1,010 million).

During 1998-1999, the industry recorded an operating profit before tax of $334 million, which represented an operating profit margin of 4.8 per cent. The operating profit before tax per seat (excluding caterers) represented an annual return per available seat of $251.

Total expenses for the cafe and restaurant industry during 1998/99 were $6,805 million. The largest items of expenditure were purchases ($2,917 million) and labour costs ($2,109 million) which represented 43 per cent and 31 per cent respectively of total expenses for the industry.

At the end of June 1999, total employment in the industry was 152,107 people, of whom 63,093 (41 per cent) were waiters and waitresses. Female employment (85,223) accounted for more than half (56 per cent) of total industry employment. Just over 51 per cent of the people in the industry worked as casual employees, which was reflected in the average labour cost per employee of $15,000.

Cafe and restaurant industry businesses in 1998-99 were concentrated in the eastern mainland states, with 79 per cent operating in either New South Wales, Victoria or Queensland. Industry income per head of population was $387. The highest average was for cafes and restaurants operating in the Australian Capital Territory ($579 per head of population) while the lowest was in Tasmania ($230 income per head).

The cafe and restaurant industry was dominated by small businesses during 1998-99 with 91 per cent of businesses having employment of less than 20 people. These small businesses accounted for 55 per cent of industry employment and 52 per cent of industry income. In contrast there were 61 businesses (less than 1 per cent of total businesses) with employment of 100 or more people, which accounted for 22 per cent of industry employment and 27 per cent of industry income.

Further details can be found in Cafes and Restaurants, Australia 1998-99 (cat. no. 8655.0) available from ABS bookshops. The summary of the publication are also available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop webpage. Thank You.

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