Taipei--Taiwan has the fourth highest dining-out costs in the Asia-Pacific region, trailing only South Korea, Australia and Singapore, according to a survey conducted by global financial service provider MasterCard on consumer behavior in the second half of 2016.
In the MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities -- Dining for 2017, the credit card issuer said dining-out spending per month averaged NT$7,178 (US$237) in Taiwan, compared with NT$11,989 in South Korea, NT$11,970 in Australia, and NT$8,427 in Singapore.
Within the greater China area, Taiwan's average monthly dining-out expenses per consumer topped China's NT$6,940, according to the survey, which was conducted over the last three months of 2016 and not limited to MasterCard holders.
MasterCard said Taiwan's dining-out spending rose 44 percent from a year earlier, much higher than the average growth rate of 10.59 percent in the region.
The survey found that 78 percent of respondents in Taiwan ate out at fast food restaurants and 78 percent also went to food courts in shopping malls or department stores.
Some 77 percent of respondents in Taiwan said they liked to visit middle-range restaurants, and 31 percent said they ate at high-end restaurants, the survey found.
Only 15 percent of respondents said they went out to bars, with consumers aged 30-40 saying they went to bars 4.5 times a month on average, the highest level among all age groups, according to the survey.
MasterCard said average spending per month in bars in Taiwan was NT$2,425 in the 2017 survey, up from NT$1,043 seen in the previous survey.
According to the survey, many Taiwanese consumers carefully studied reviews of food vendors or restaurants before going out to eat, with 64 percent of them going online to read evaluations, the highest level in the region.
The survey, conducted from October to December in the region, collected 9,123 questionnaires from respondents aged 18-64 who have bank accounts in 18 countries or regions, MasterCard said.
Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council