Media releases

Hospitality owners capitalise on Melbourne’s new rhythm

6 May 2023

City traders are making the most of Melbourne’s supercharged visitation, with new data revealing a higher proportion of hospitality businesses are open on weekends than before the pandemic.

The City of Melbourne’s latest Melbourne Economy Snapshot reveals 68 per cent of city cafes and restaurants are now open on Saturday and Sunday – a 3 per cent increase from 2019.

The Snapshot also highlights city workers are setting new weekday peak hours, with two-thirds of weekly commuter traffic occurring between Tuesday and Thursday.

Commuters are opting for a later start on Friday and enjoying evening activities after work – making the most of Melbourne’s booming night-time economy.

In March, night-time spend was at 111 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, with bursts of higher spend coinciding with major events including Moomba, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

Additionally, Victorian international student visa levels are now more than 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, with O-Week coinciding with a 5 per cent increase in overall spending across the city, compared to the previous week.

Council’s Melbourne Economy Snapshot aims to arm city traders with quarterly data and insights to better inform business decisions.

To view the latest snapshot edition, visit City of Melbourne.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

“The Melbourne Economy Snapshot continues to be a source of truth for our city traders – helping them adapt and grow in line with Melbourne’s new rhythm.”

“The fact that a higher proportion of traders are open on weekends and spending continues to rise is proof that Melbourne’s doors are well and truly open for business.”

“Our city is also enjoying a night-time renaissance, with more demand for late night venues than ever before.”

“With an exciting horizon of events on their way, including Shop the City, YIRRAMBOI, RISING and our premiere event Now or Never, we’re expecting the city to be more alive than ever.”

Quotes attributable to City Activation portfolio lead Councillor Roshena Campbell

“The city is bustling thanks to a momentous lineup of events over the past few months, including the record-breaking Grand Prix and Moomba.”

“After a successful first edition, we’re thrilled the Snapshot is continuing to help businesses navigate the changing rhythm of the city.”

Quotes attributable to HER Chief Operating Officer Tom Byrne

“There’s an extended sense of hustle and bustle throughout the city, with guests maintaining an appetite to dine out and be entertained from morning through night.”

“At HER BAR, the all-day restaurant and cocktail bar on the ground floor of HER, sees commuters stopping in for a coffee on their way to work or taking their time to enjoy lunch as a team throughout the week, as well as friends and family venturing into the city for everything from special occasions to a casual weeknight out.”

“This is both exciting and motivating for us as a team – pushing us to deliver awesome service, quality food and drink, great music and entertainment every night of the week.”

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