Shanghai tops other cities in a dining consumption index, while Guangdong, Shandong and Jiangsu provinces top the rankings in terms of absolute transaction value, according to data compiled by Alibaba's lifestyle service unit, Koubei.
Those in Xiamen, Guangzhou and Tianjin prefer Western food more than consumers in other regions, while Shanghai residents favor Cantonese and Sichuan cuisine, the study released yesterday showed.
The dining consumption index is calculated using Koubei's data, including the number of restaurants in each city and the average bill amount from each consumer.
Last year, China's dining and catering industry was worth 3.5 trillion yuan ($512 million), according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.
The catering business bounced back to double-digit growth in 2015 after the central government's ban on lavish entertainment, such as banquets, by public servants had dampened growth.
About 26 percent of revenue came from venues with annual income of more than 2 million yuan last year, down from 34 percent in 2012, suggesting a pickup in small and medium-sized firms.