The research sought to understand how the pandemic has influenced guest expectations, and what restaurants, bars, cafes and hotels must do to meet and exceed expectations in the ‘new normal’
SINGAPORE (27 July 2022) – As Singapore’s hospitality industry reopens, more than two-thirds of (69%) Singaporeans believe that restaurants, bars, cafes, and hotels should be able to refuse access to unvaccinated guests, according to new research released today by SevenRooms, a guest experience and retention platform for the hospitality industry.
Few industries were hit harder by the pandemic than the hospitality, travel and tourism sectors. SevenRooms’ research on the future of hospitality – Hospitality 2.0 – sought to understand how the pandemic has influenced guest expectations, and what restaurants, bars, cafes and hotels must do to meet and exceed expectations in the ‘new normal’.
According to the research, Singaporeans expect more than ever from hospitality venues, making it critical that hospitality operators adapt to the needs of this changed consumer. In fact, two in three Singaporeans (68%) now hold hospitality venues to a higher standard. To meet changing demands, consumers now expect:
- Access to technologies including order and pay on their mobile phone (37%)
- Technology allowing them to book reservations online (33%)
- QR codes to view a menu (32%)
“Few industries were harder hit by the pandemic than hospitality, but none have demonstrated more resilience, adaptability and determination,” said Paul Hadida, General Manager APAC at SevenRooms. “When the pandemic struck, they switched to online-first to adhere to social distancing restrictions and cater to consumer habits. Today, as Singapore’s hospitality industry adapts to a new-normal, it’s imperative that hospitality operators remain agile to meet constantly changing consumer demands in the new era of hospitality. Consumers are holding the industry to a higher standard than ever coming out of the pandemic. With the cost of living increasing and global economic uncertainty, the venues that meet these demands and provide meaningful, personalised and data-driven experiences will thrive.”
Evolving behaviour and expectations
Over half (55%) of respondents say that health and safety is now their number one priority. The good news for the industry? Nearly two in five (39%) Singaporeans believe that restaurants, bars, cafes and hotels now provide safer, more technologically-advanced experiences.
In addition to a focus on health and safety experiences, Singaporean consumers also expect venues to:
- Leverage technology to minimise contact between people – e.g. contactless menus or mobile order and pay (42%)
- Use technology that enables guests to book a reservation or join a waitlist before arrival (37%)
- Must offer direct delivery and or collection options (35%)
“After a particularly challenging 2021, we’re so excited to find our footing and return to what we do best – providing intimate and unforgettable dining experiences for our loyal diners at Marcy’s,” said Trisha Lee, Restaurant Manager at Marcy’s. “While the easing of restrictions and reopening of the industry is a huge moment for businesses like ours, it is also imperative that we need to keep up with the times and recognise that our guests have changed. It is so important to us that we are empowered to treat every single guest as an individual, with their own unique needs and preferences, whether that’s related to technology, personalisation or something else entirely. Every guest is so important to us, and so our mission is to demonstrate their value with truly meaningful and memorable experiences, every time they visit Marcy’s or interact with us online.”
Three in four (75%) Singaporeans agree that rising global inflation and the increasing cost of food will persuade them to visit restaurants, bars, cafes, and hotels less frequently. In this environment, loyalty is a venue’s best friend – and the venues that provide exceptional, personalised experiences are best positioned to capitalise on it. Over half (57%) would be happy to share their personal data with a restaurant, bar, cafe or hotel for personalised experiences like recognition of their dietary preferences and allergies, or being greeted by their name.
If done right – from customer acquisition, to engagement to retention – loyalty can turn one-off guests into regulars and help operators alleviate any challenges that come their way. According to the report, two-thirds of Singaporeans (65%) agree that attractive discounts and promotions would encourage more diners back to restaurants and hospitality establishments post-pandemic.
Additionally, Singaporean consumers say they are more likely to be loyal to a specific restaurant, bar, cafe and hotel if they:
- Offer them a discount code or promotion for a future visit (48%)
- Receive loyalty rewards or perks for visiting regularly (46%)
- Receive government-sponsored vouchers (46%)
- Offer a complimentary drink or appetiser during their visit (38%)
“With great change comes great opportunity,” Hadida continued. “Exceeding customer demands on the things that matter most to them is what sets good hospitality venues apart from the great. Beyond prioritising health and safety, venues must offer technology such as contactless menus or mobile order and pay to minimise contact between people. In addition, digital technologies for guests to make reservations and join online waitlists is another way to stand out from the competition to give guests the tech-driven experiences they expect. If venues can adapt accordingly, there’s reason to be optimistic.”
Optimism for Singapore’s hospitality industry
As restaurants, bars, cafes and hotels return to a new-norm post-pandemic, hospitality operators must evolve as consumer demands do. According to the research, 41% say that eating at restaurants reminds them of better times, 37% say it makes them feel normal again and 32% say they feel more connected to their community when they do so. In addition, 33% of Singaporeans consumers believe that hospitality venues should be given more government support post-COVID.
As we head into a new era of hospitality, those operators that maintain pace with changing consumer demands and provide personalised experiences beyond great food and drinks will be the ones to thrive.
To learn more about SevenRooms visit sevenrooms.com
SevenRooms is a guest experience and retention platform that helps hospitality operators create exceptional experiences that drive revenue and repeat business. Trusted by thousands of hospitality operators around the world, SevenRooms powers tens of millions of guest experiences each month across both on- and off-premise. From neighbourhood restaurants and bars to international, multi-concept hospitality groups, SevenRooms is transforming the industry by empowering operators to take back control of their businesses to build direct guest relationships, deliver exceptional experiences and drive more visits and orders, more often. The full suite of products includes reservation, waitlist and table management, online ordering, review aggregation and marketing automation. Founded in 2011 and venture-backed by Amazon, Comcast Ventures, Highgate Ventures and PSG, SevenRooms has dining, hotel F&B, nightlife and entertainment clients globally, including: Hilton Hotels, Harrods, The Langham London, MGM Resorts International, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Jumeirah Group, Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, LDV Hospitality, Zuma, Altamarea Group, AELTC, D&D London, JKS Restaurants, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Dishoom, The Wolseley Hospitality Group, Live Nation and Topgolf.
Bianca Esmond | Director, Brand Marketing