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Australia’s most frustrating wait times revealed

November 30, 2016 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

When it comes to waiting, frustrated Aussies do not become angry, they become hangry. That’s right, waiting for a restaurant table tops the list of the most annoying wait times according to new research from OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations.

Almost a third of Aussies (30%) say they find waiting to be seated as a walk-in diner most irritating, more so than waiting for public transport (23%), in the queue to board a flight (17%), or for online shopping to be delivered (11%).

When it comes to dining out, most Australians don’t believe ‘good things come to those who wait’. The average time diners are willing to wait for a table at an unbookable restaurant is 18 minutes, with one in 10 unwilling to wait at all.

Lisa Hasen, Vice President, APAC, for OpenTable said: “When it comes to dining out, Aussies know what they like – and that applies to the whole dining experience, not only to the meal itself. As lifestyles become busier, diners don’t have valuable time to wait for a restaurant table. By booking ahead, they eliminate the unknown element of the wait, using their time instead to enjoy the important things – great food, great atmosphere and great company.”

The research also revealed the dining habits of Australians are changing, with half of those surveyed (49%) saying they dine out more now than they did five years ago.

For those hitting the restaurant scene more often, the increased variety of dining locations is the main driver (50%), followed by the range of cuisines (46%) and variety of different price points (40%).

With dining developments like The Streets of Barangaroo and Harold Park Tramsheds recently opening in Sydney, the research confirmed New South Wales restaurant-goers are leading the charge nationally in terms of how often they’re dining out. Compared to five years ago, over half (52%) say they dine out more now.

“As the Australian dining scene continues to evolve, so too will the booking behaviours of diners. We are eating out more frequently and have increased dining options, making decisions more challenging and the ability to reserve of greater importance.  By using the OpenTable website or app, diners can quickly and easily view available choices and secure the booking that meets their specific needs, whether it’s for a special occasion or a local weekday dinner,” Hasen added.  

Top findings from the 2016 OpenTable booking behaviours study:

  • When it comes to the six types of wait times Aussies find most annoying:
  1. A table at an unbookable restaurant (30%)
  2. Public transport (23%)
  3. Boarding a flight (17%)
  4. Online shopping to be delivered (11%)
  5. Movie to start at the cinema (10%)
  6. Car to be serviced at the mechanics (10%)
  • The average amount of time Aussies are willing to wait for a restaurant table is 18 minutes
  • 10% of Aussies say they are unwilling to wait for a restaurant table at all
  • Half of Australians (49%) say they are dining out more now than they did five years ago
  • Most people say the increased variety of restaurant locations (50%) is the main reason they’re dining out more often than they did five years ago
  • Diners living in NSW (52%) and VIC / TAS (51%) are more likely than those in QLD (46%), WA (43%) and SA (38%) to say they dine out more now than they did five years ago

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