From The Straits Times    |

Singapore is truly a food nation, with people here eating their way to become the region’s top spenders on dining.

A MasterCard survey of consumer dining habits across the Asia-Pacific region from November last year to January this year found that 455 Singaporeans spent an average of US$262 (S$324) a month on dining out.

This is more than the average spending of US$200 in April and May last year, the last time the survey was conducted.

Japanese and Chinese consumers follow closely behind, spending a monthly average of US$225 and US$203 respectively.

Dining out - Singaporeans are region's top spenders
Diners at the NTUC Foodfare at Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC). PHOTO:

Over the past six months in Singapore, foodcourts (90 per cent) were the most popular choice, followed by mid-range family restaurants and cafes (85 per cent), quick-serve restaurants (81 per cent), standalone fine-dining restaurants (44 per cent), fine-dining restaurants within hotels (35 per cent), and pubs (26 per cent).

Diners ate at foodcourts an average of 15 times a month and at quick-serve restaurants seven times a month. They patronised fine-dining restaurants two to three times a month on average.

It does not look like Singapore’s love for food will wane any time soon.

Out of the 455 online interviewees, 24 per cent said that they plan to eat out more in the next six months compared with the past six months. Some (13 per cent) also plan to eat at more expensive venues.

The survey, conducted with residents between 18 and 64 years of age, also found that only 22 per cent of respondents tip.

And it found that Singaporeans are also using the Internet to decide where to eat, with more than half of those surveyed (52 per cent) saying they regularly use online reviews. One in two respondents in Singapore also regularly goes online to check for credit-card dining promotions.

This article was originally published in The Straits Times on May 9, 2013. Read the full article here on The Straits