Hospitality venues have been held at high esteem by Australians recently. According to Lightspeed’s research, more than 55 per cent of Australians see hospitality venues to be the soul of their city.
Melburnians topped the list with more than 67 per cent of residents believing Melbourne’s venues are the soul of the city, followed by 60 per cent of Sydneysiders.
Lightspeed, the leading point-of-sale and ecommerce software provider also noted about 60 per cent of Australians reported a decline in the frequency of dining out because of the pandemic.
However, Australia’s hospitality industry continues to be a thriving hub for enthusiastic foodies, with more than 70 per cent dining out at least monthly, while about 40 per cent dine out at least weekly.
Furthermore, while dining out in December, Australians spent an average of $44 per order at venues, recording a 14 per cent increase in average transaction values.
Hospitality venues were also the place to be for socialising out of the home, with nearly half of Australians choosing cafes to meet up with friends, closely followed by 37 per cent at restaurants, and 34 per cent who prefer bars. In contrast, about 53 per cent prefer to meet friends at home, compared to just 22 per cent at a park.
Simon Le Grand, Director of Marketing and Product Management at Lightspeed said: “It’s no surprise that our hospitality industry holds such a meaningful place in the hearts of Australians”.
“The industry has been among one of the hardest hit in recent months, and is beginning to rebuild itself on a backdrop of post-pandemic recovery. What we’re seeing is that Aussies have realised how important hospitality is for a city, and how fragile the industry is, and small actions like respecting a booking and spending money locally will go a long way”.
The hard work adjusting to the customers needs is now yet behind them as the research shows Australians are turning to technology to feel more comfortable when returning to venues post-COVID-19.
About 57 per cent of respondents stated they would choose a venue based on the availability of QR technology, while 46 per cent would make a selection based on availability of contactless ordering and payment.
Similarly, more than 56 per cent believe that contactless ordering and payment options would help them feel more comfortable dining out. Speed is also on the diners mind, with more than 78 per cent citing prompt service as important.
Le Grand added: “Venues that listen to diners and embrace technology to enhance the customer experience, ensuring patrons feel safe dining out, should return to their flourishing selves”.
“That is why we launched Lightspeed Ordering: a new, integrated, online and at-table solution that puts the ordering experience in the palm of the customer and is designed to help hospitality venue owners succeed while keeping their venues COVID-safe this summer.”
Not only can introducing contactless ordering technology help venues meet diner expectations, but it also has the ability to boost revenue, with nearly half of Australians saying they would order more in a restaurant or cafe if they could do it through their smartphone or a tablet.
Younger diners are paving the way for the future of hospitality and the industry’s recovery, with 78 per cent of those aged between 25 and 34 citing contactless ordering and payment as a means to help them feel more comfortable dining out, while 61 per cent say they would base their venue choice on availability of the feature.