8655.0 - Cafes and Restaurants, Australia, 2003-04  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/07/2005   
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Cafes and restaurants generate over $10 billion in income

Australia's cafes and restaurants generated over $10 billion (b) in income during 2003-04, according to a publication released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The publication, Cafes and Restaurants, Australia, found that $7.1b was generated from cafe and restaurant businesses and $3b from catering businesses.

Just over half (51%) of total income for all businesses combined was generated from takings from meals served on the premises, while takings from catering accounted for just under a quarter of all income (23%). Sale of liquor and other beverages comprised 16% of the total.

Cafes and restaurants reported an operating profit before tax of $400m, which represented an operating profit margin of 4% during 2003-04.

Characteristics of cafe and restaurants:
  • At the end of June, there were 15,000 cafes and restaurant businesses operating throughout Australia .
  • Three-quarters of cafes and restaurant locations were based in metropolitan areas.
  • Just over a third (34%) of these businesses were licensed.
  • There were 1.1 million seats available for dining in cafes and restaurants at the end of June 2004.

There were 190,000 people working in cafes and restaurants, with over half (53%) working as casuals, at the end of June 2004. Over 40% of this workforce occupied waiter/waitress positions, while chefs and cooks accounted for about 22% of all occupations.

Cafes and restaurants were predominantly small businesses with most (63%) employing less than 10 people. These businesses generated 21% of all income and had an operating profit before tax of $40m. In contrast, businesses employing 50 or more people accounted for just 1.2% of all businesses in Australia, but generated just under a third (32%) of all income. The operating profit before tax of these businesses was $170m.

States and territories:
  • New South Wales accounted for 38% of all businesses in Australia, 31% of all employment and generated just over a third (34%) of total income.
  • Victorian cafes and restaurants comprised just under a quarter of all businesses (23%), 24% of all income and a quarter of all employment.

Expenses totalled $9.7b during 2003-04. The single largest expenditure item was purchases (39%) followed by labour costs (36%).

More details is in Cafes and Restaurants, Australia, 2003-04 (cat no. 8655.0).