Singapore among the top spenders in Asia Pacific for dining: Survey

Singapore among the top spenders in Asia Pacific for dining: Survey
TODAY file photo
Diners here spent an average of S$248 a month dining out last year, compared to the Asia Pacific average of S$175
Published: 2:15 PM, May 6, 2014
Updated: 3:47 PM, May 6, 2014

SINGAPORE — When it comes to eating out, Singapore diners remain the biggest spenders in South-east Asia, but have slipped to second place in the Asia Pacific behind Hong Kong, according to a MasterCard survey on consumer dining habits.

Last year, Singapore consumers spent an average of US$198 (S$248) a month dining out, less than the US$262 average spend in 2012 but still more than the Asia Pacific average spend of US$140. In comparison, Hong Kong diners spent 10 per cent more than their Singapore counterparts, with an average monthly spend of US$218.

Thailand came in third for both South-East Asia and Asia Pacific rankings.

At least 12 per cent of Singapore respondents said they plan to dine out at more expensive venues, yet the majority of local diners (69 per cent) do not envisage spending more when eating out.

The survey was conducted between October and November last year with 7,932 respondents, aged 18 to 64, in 16 Asia Pacific countries taking part. In Singapore, 400 residents participated.

Eating out continues to be common among Singaporeans, with 98 per cent indicating that they have dined at restaurants, food courts/hawker centres and pubs/bars in the last six months. A quarter of respondents said they plan to eat out more in the next six months.

In searching for new dining spots, Singapore consumers relied on word-of-mouth recommendations from peers and relatives (49 per cent) and online reviews (46 per cent).

Over 60 per cent of Singapore respondents said they would check for card promotions at bill payment while 38 per cent would do it online before heading out. One-third of Singapore respondents said they would also purchase dining discounts on coupon sites and apps.

“Food is an undeniable passion for Singaporeans, and eating out is part and parcel of everyday life,” said Ms Julienne Loh, general manager of MasterCard, Singapore. “What’s interesting is that we are seeing greater appreciation for fine dining, new cuisines and differentiated dining experiences — pointing to increasingly sophisticated tastes in Singapore.”