Food and fun boost Melbourne’s night-time economy

Melbourne’s world-class entertainment and dining has pushed the value of the city’s night-time economy to more than $3.5 billion, according to the latest Australian Night Time Economy Report.

The latest figures from Local Government Safe Cities Network ‘Measuring the Australian Night Time Economy Report’, show the City of Melbourne experienced 9.6 per cent growth in 2018.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the $3.5 billion in turnover sets a new benchmark for the city, and strengthens Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s events and cultural capital.

“Our city’s night-time economy grew by $310.3 million last year, which means greater opportunities for local businesses and more jobs,” the Lord Mayor said. 

“Last year alone our food establishments contributed $2.2 billion to our night time economy, while entertainment turnover grew by 19.5 per cent to $968.5 million.

“Importantly, our night-time economy is incredibly diverse with entertainment and food leading this revenue growth. These figures demonstrate that Melbourne is Australia’s events and cultural capital.

“We are a 24-hour and international city, with lots of people working and living in our city centre.”

Food remains the primary contributor to Melbourne’s night-time economy, accounting for 71 per cent of turnover ($2.2 billion), compared to 20 per cent for entertainment ($968.5 million) and 6 per cent for drinking venues ($325.6 million).

The growth in food, drink and entertainment has also boosted night time employment, with a total jobs growth of 2.5 per cent to more than 31,130 employees.

Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Prosperous City portfolio, Councillor Kevin Louey, said Melbourne’s night time growth is a source of pride for the city.

“Our night-time economy continues to move from strength to strength, and we’ve been working hard with businesses and the community to activate Melbourne at night,” Cr Louey said.

“The transformation of Melbourne from the early 90s to 2019 is incredible and a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of our large and small business communities and our ongoing efforts to make Melbourne one of Australia’s premier destinations.”                                                                                                                                                          

To read the full ‘Measuring the Australian Night Time Economy Report’ visit the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors website.

Key facts and figures

  • Melbourne’s night-time economy turnover grew by $310.3 million in 2018 to reach $3.5 billion.
  • Entertainment establishments grew by 6.2 per cent in 2018 to 497.
  • Food establishments grew by 4.8 per cent in 2018 to 1,770.
  • Drinking establishments dropped 2 per cent in 2018 to 243.
  • Victoria’s overall night time economy turnover grew by 6.9 per cent in 2018 to $34.9 billion.
  • Australia’s overall night time economy turnover grew by 5.6 per cent in 2018 to $133.9 billion.

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