Visible cleaning measures, contactless technology & health checks for staff are top priorities; Nervous diners in Victoria and NSW want outdoor seating, WA and QLD foodies more laissez-faire
SYDNEY (27 October 2020) — Aussies are keen to dine out again, but they have new needs and wants that hospitality operators must address. That’s the message coming from SevenRooms’ Restaurant Reckoning: Australia report – the first in-depth research into the changing expectations of Australian diners in the new era of hospitality. SevenRooms, a data-driven guest experience platform for the hospitality industry, recently engaged YouGov to find out what Australians need to feel safe visiting hospitality and entertainment venues following COVID-19-related lockdowns and closures.
For today’s diner, a venue’s health and safety guidelines (31%) are almost as important as the range and quality of food and drink (37%) when choosing a restaurant.
At the top of the list are visible safety measures – such as marking cleaned tables “sanitised” before they can be used – supported by more than half of all Australian diners. Forty percent want daily health checks for staff and careful control of foot traffic in restaurants to ensure social distancing. One in three think restaurants should not reopen until they are using technology like virtual waitlists, contactless order/payment and QR tracking codes to protect guests.
Personalised service is a top priority, too, with many seeking venues where menu, experience and delivery promotions are tailored based on their dietary restrictions and preferences from previous visits. Eighty-three percent would be happy to share their personal data with a restaurant for these experiences.
Diners in states hit hard by COVID are the most nervous, with people in NSW (75%) and VIC (73%) more likely than those in QLD (65%), SA (64%) and WA (55%) to have concerns about dining out or going out for a drink over the next three months. People in VIC and NSW are around four times more likely than those in WA to say the most important factor for them in choosing a hospitality venue is the availability of outdoor seating options.
The good news for hospitality owners is that people do want to go back out, with only eight percent saying they will not return. When reflecting on what eating out means to them, Aussies say dining out allows them to help their local community, reminds them of better times and will help them feel ‘normal again’.
Commenting on the research, Paul Hadida, SevenRooms’ General Manager, Australia, said: “Hospitality has been amongst the hardest hit industries, but it’s an incredibly innovative and resilient sector. There have been so many inspiring stories of businesses evolving – whether it’s wait staff becoming temporary delivery drivers or dine-in only restaurants offering online ordering – to continue serving their customers in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic.
“Looking forward, however, ‘business as usual’ will have to evolve. According to our research, Australian diners want venues to create safe, tech-led environments while providing meaningful, unique experiences. They want a personalised level of service that understands their needs, rewards their patronage, and builds deeper trust that turns on-time guests into long-term regulars. Our industry is at a crossroads, and technology will be essential in helping businesses navigate this new era of hospitality.”
The full report can be downloaded here.
SevenRooms is a fully-integrated, data-driven guest experience platform that helps hospitality operators unlock the full revenue potential of their data. From neighborhood restaurants and bars to international, multi-concept hospitality groups, the end-to-end platform enables operators to build direct guest relationships, deliver exceptional experiences, and, ultimately, bring guests back. Founded in 2011 and venture-backed by Amazon, Comcast Ventures and Providence Strategic Growth, SevenRooms has dining, hotel F&B, nightlife and entertainment clients globally, including: Bloomin’ Brands, MGM Resorts International, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Jumeirah Group, Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, sbe, LDV Hospitality, Zuma, Altamarea Group, Major Food Group, AELTC, Chase Hospitality Group, D&D London, Corbin & King, Live Nation and Topgolf. The company was recently included in Inc.’s annual list of Best Workplaces for 2020. www.sevenrooms.com.
The research was conducted by YouGov amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,064 Australians aged 18 and over. The study was conducted online between 17-21 September 2020, with the data weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.
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