58% of Australians say their resolution for 2024 is to eat healthier and more than a quarter (26%) of Australians struggle to make healthy choices at restaurants

  • 93% of Australians are prepared to spend more to order healthier options when eating out yet more than a quarter (26%) of Australians struggle to make healthy choices at restaurants 
  • Dietitian Susie Burrell reveals her tips to help Aussies navigate menus and try to keep their healthier eating on track while eating out, as OpenTable unveils its list of Australia’s Top 50 Restaurants with Healthy Bites based on diner reviews
  • New data from OpenTable has unveiled new revelations about Aussies New Year’s Resolutions, with findings showing 38% of Australians admitting to lying about breaking theirs

SYDNEY, Jan. 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — With the new year upon us, OpenTable has revealed brand new consumer insights that delve into Aussie’s resolutions for 2024, with more than half (58%) saying that eating healthier is their resolution for the New Year.* In addition, 26% of Aussies 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 Aussie 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 (6), seafood (6) and Japanese (8).

Australians want to eat healthy but old habits die hard

While eating healthier is the most popular New Year’s resolution for Australians, 40% anticipate they will revert to their regular eating habits within three months, and just over a quarter (27%) are unlikely to stick to theirs at all. Despite this, Australians remain optimistic with 79% 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 Aussies (51%) believe that eating healthily costs more, 93% 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% of Aussies 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% 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% 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 leading Australian 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 Aussies 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, portions, 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% of Aussies 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."

No Bones Byron Bay, NSW, OpenTable
No Bones Byron Bay, NSW, OpenTable

The Top 50 Restaurants with Healthy Bites highlights include^:

  • Regional restaurants made up over a quarter of the Top 50 as Australians commit to eating healthier, or thinking about what you eat while on holidays.
  • Queensland takes the crown with an impressive 21 venues featured on the Top 50 list, including veggie favourites El Planta in Brisbane and Bam Pow in Port Douglas. This was followed closely by Victoria with 14 restaurants and New South Wales came in third with 10 restaurants.  
  • Vegan and vegetarian venues made up 18% of the Top 50 list as Australians consider plant-based and meat-free menus as a healthier alternative, with Monster Kitchen & Bar in Canberra and Nevedya in Victoria among diner favourites.
  • Modern Australian was the most popular cuisine in the Top 50 list, making up almost a third (32%) of restaurants, followed by Japanese (14%) and Seafood (12%). These ranged from Australia Zoo’s Warrior Restaurant & Bar in Beerwah, Queensland to Karkalla in Northern NSW, both renowned for getting creative in the kitchen by experimenting with native bush ingredients. 

To find the Top 50 Restaurants with Healthy Bites and more of our research findings, visit here.

Consumer Research Methodology

*An online survey was conducted by PureSpectrum, among 2000 consumers in Australia who enjoy going to restaurants in their spare time. The data has been weighted proportionately by major cities for direct comparison. Australia was included as one of eight markets in a multimarket study surveying 16,000 participants on the topic of healthy eating and healthy restaurants. The research fieldwork took place between November 13th – 27th, 2023.

Methodology of the Restaurant List

^OpenTable’s Top 50 Restaurants with Healthy Bites in Australia list is generated from over 300,000 OpenTable diner reviews and dining metrics from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023. Restaurants with a minimum threshold of diner reviews were considered and evaluated by a compilation of unique data points, including diner ratings, the percentage of five star reviews, the number of alerts set, the percentage of reservations made in advance and direct searches. Metrics were weighted to comprise an overall score. The qualified restaurants were then ranked by the percentage of reviews with the tag "healthy". The resulting list appears A-Z, not in ranked order. The cuisine category is self-determined by restaurants.

About OpenTable

OpenTable, a global leader in restaurant tech and part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG), helps 55,000 restaurants, bars, wineries and other venues worldwide fill 1.6 billion seats a year. OpenTable powers reservations, experiences, payments, guest insights and operations, enabling restaurants to focus on doing what they do best: providing great hospitality.

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Source: 58% of Australians say their resolution for 2024 is to eat healthier and more than a quarter (26%) of Australians struggle to make healthy choices at restaurants