DO YOU start the day by dropping into your favourite coffee shop for that magic morning elixir on your way to work?
Do you and your family make a habit of stepping out for leisurely breakfasts on the weekend or grabbing a quick takeaway meal during the week?
Well, thank you; because those purchases have given cafes, restaurants and takeaway outlets a much-needed shot in the arm.
So much so in fact that, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Queenslanders spent more than $662 million in November on dining out and takeaways, up some $120 million on last year.
It is welcome news for the food industry which spent much of the year in the doldrums, and perhaps an indication that Australians are finally starting to feel better about spending money.
Coffee appears to be one of the key drivers of sales with studies showing that we consume around 3kg a year on average.
While most Queenslanders will stop for a takeaway coffee on the way to work or have one at work, we have discerning tastes and will try more than one outlet before sticking with a favourite.
Overall retail sales (not just food) for November were $4.7 billion, an improvement of $200 million on 2012 and that would have buoyed business owners.
Not so encouraging for retailers on the street was the news that online sales continue to grow at a much higher rate, particularly those of online retailers who do not have a physical shopfront.