Cantabs have a taste for dining out

HUNGRY: Sarah Harrison and Roger Townshend with Willow, 2, and Jet, 5, tuck into a BASE pizza for lunch at Little High Eatery. Photo: Martin Hunter

Every table was full at Little High Eatery yesterday, where Roger Townshend was enjoying a pizza with his daughter Sarah Harrison and grandchildren Jet and Willow.

They are part of a wave of Cantabrians regularly eating out, according to figures released by Westpac yesterday.

Cantabrians spend an average of $380 a month at restaurants or cafes, according to the figures, or about $89 a week.

That was the third-highest spend in the country, behind Auckland at $486 and Wellington $436.

When asked how much they spent eating out, the Moncks Bay residents had one response: “Too much.”

Ms Harrison said she usually ate out for dinner once a week, but bought a coffee every day – so she said her weekly spend was around the $89 average.

Mr Townshend, a semi-retired businessman, said he spent a lot more.

He said his total spend varied too much to put a figure on it, but he went out for lunch or dinner at least five times a week, as well as going out for at least one coffee a week.

He said it was a good way to catch up with friends and he liked supporting Canterbury businesses.

“We’re pretty loyal to our local cafes and businesses in Sumner,” he said.

Both said seeing new cafes and restaurants opening up around the city prompted them to eat out more.

“A big part of Christchurch is our cafe and restaurant culture. Places like this are affordable, accessible, easy,” Ms Harrison said.

Cantabrians aged between 36 and 55 spent the most eating out, with an average monthly spend of $453.

Cantabrians aged 56 or older spent the least – an average of $318 – while those aged 18 to 35 spent an average of $366.

The figures are based on the spending patterns of 96,000 Westpac customers, and are broken down through its CashNav app.

Westpac NZ general manager of marketing, products and transformation Andrew Kerr linked the results to the rebuild.

“With Canterbury getting back on its feet economically and an array of fantastic new cafes and restaurants opening, it’s probably not surprising that Cantabrians spend the third most on eating out, but it’s worth keeping a close watch on that spending,” he said.

The figures showed Cantabrians in the 36-55 age bracket were also the biggest spenders at supermarkets, spending an average of $820 per month – about $153 per week.

Those 56 or older spent $670 per month, while those under-35 spent the least – $494.

Over a month, the average Cantabrian spent $204 on entertainment, like movies, concerts and gambling, and $217 on health and beauty through places like pharmacies, gyms and beauty salons.

Cantabrians’ average monthly spending:

•$380 on eating out

•$657 on groceries

•$204 on entertainment

•$217 on health and beauty