New data from OpenTable reveals trends on Australian diets and new year resolutions

OpenTable has revealed consumer insights that delves into Australians resolutions for 2024, with 58 per cent saying that eating healthier is their resolution for the New Year.

With the new year upon us, OpenTable has revealed brand new consumer insights that delve into Australian’s resolutions for 2024, with 58 per cent saying that eating healthier is their resolution for the New Year.

In addition, 26 per cent of Australians say they struggle to make healthy choices at restaurants. To help diners stick to their resolutions while dining out, OpenTable has unveiled the inaugural Australia’s Top 50 Restaurants with Healthy Bites, compiled from analysing over 300,000 Australian diner reviews and diner metrics including ratings and the percentage of restaurant reviews where diners tagged the restaurant as “healthy.” The list offers a variety of venues representing a range of cuisine types including vegan, seafood and Japanese.

Australians want to eat healthy but old habits die hard 

While eating healthier is the most popular New Year’s resolution for Australians, 40 per cent anticipate they will revert to their regular eating habits within three months, and just over a quarter (27 per cent) are unlikely to stick to theirs at all. Despite this, Australians remain optimistic with 79 per cent likely to consider eating healthier in 2024 compared to 2023.

Other highlights from the new OpenTable consumer research include:

  • Australians willing to spend more for a healthier meal  – While half of Australians (51 per cent) believe that eating healthily costs more, 93 per cent of Australians are willing to spend more when dining out if it means they can treat themselves to a healthier meal.
  • The not so truthful truth about resolutions – 38 per cent of Australians surveyed said that they have lied once or more than once about breaking their New Year’s resolutions
  • Plant-based power –  To meet their healthy eating goals, 43 per cent of Australians are considering going vegan or vegetarian in 2024.

“Many Aussies are doubtful they will keep to their healthy eating resolutions in 2024, with 40 per cent reporting they’re likely to give up on their resolutions before the 3-month mark. Although it may seem challenging at times, there’s an array of things you can do to remain on track without forgoing dining out!” said dietitian, Susie Burrell.

“Navigating a restaurant menu to select healthier options can be as simple as adding a side of vegetables or salad to your main for a more balanced and mindful dining choice.”

To help Australians make more informed choices while dining out, Susie Burrell also provided simple tips to help diners navigate the menu:

  1. Grilled is good – Ditch the deep-fryer and embrace the grill, especially for your mains, where grilled proteins like seafood or chicken can pack incredible flavour, while being nutritious.            
  2. Sides can be sensational – Adding the humble side of vegetables or salad to your main is key to maintaining a balanced diet – top tip, be sure to order dressings on the side so you can choose how much to add to your meal
  3. Portions – Size can make all the difference, so when you can, opt for lighter, smaller portions, such as ordering more entrees rather than another main.
  4. Delicious and nutritious – Sashimi can be a great healthy option for dining out as it is rich in protein and Omega-3 while also being versatile.
  5. Don’t be afraid to indulge with intention – We all love to indulge once in a while and there’s no reason you can’t, but when treating yourself, try swapping out the burger bun for a lettuce wrap, or even go bunless so you can indulge smartly.

Drew Bowering, senior director sales and services APAC at OpenTable, said, “we’re proud of the breadth of restaurants on OpenTable, we offer something for everyone and every occasion. From plant-based Greenhouse Canteen and Bar when holidaying on the Gold Coast, to a Japanese bite like Zushi in Barangaroo Sydney, as well as neighbourhood gems like  The Somers General, which offers both hearty and lighter bites.”

“Our research found that 43 per cent of Australians will consider going vegan or vegetarian in 2024, either for the whole year or as part of Veganuary, and this is reflected in our Top 50 list which includes known vegan favourites like No Bones Byron Bay where they put vegetables front and centre, creatively presented with expert technique and serious attention to flavour.”

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