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Mining and dining: Twin booms in Western Australia

This project examined the growth in the cafe, restaurant and takeaway food service (dining sector) in Western Australia from 2004-2015. It sought to discover whether growth in the dining industry was caused by the corresponding boom in mining in WA during this period as compared to other factors. The study differentiated between metropolitan (Greater Perth) and regional WA.

Research questions

  • Has the mining boom in WA been an underlying driver in the growth in the dining industry during 2004-15?
  • Are there other factors accounting for the growth in the dining industry in WA?
  • Is there a commensurate difference between the dining industry boom in metropolitan and regional WA and what factors may apply?
  • Are there differences with regards to the frequency and spending on dining out options in WA which account for the greater increase in the WA dining industry compared to other States in Australia?

Research methods

  • Remplan time series data and ABS data were obtained for mining and dining for 2004-2015 period. Input-output economic impact modelling was employed to examine the extent of the dining industry growth. The study measured impacts in four key areas: production, employment, wages and salaries and value-add.
  • An empirical survey was used to provide original data on the frequency and spend of WA patrons on dining out and takeaways in comparison to other Australian States.


Funding body

This project was funded through the Faculty of Business and Law, Strategic Research Grant. It was a cross disciplinary project involving Business Services and Commerce Disciplines.


The project was completed in December 2016. The results were presented at an ECU Seminar, and a journal article entitled “Mining and Dining: Twin Booms in Western Australia” has been completed and submitted to the Australasian Journal of Regional Studies.

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