Every sector across the world has been impacted by COVID-19, and the hospitality industry is among the hardest hit. With rising vaccination rates delivering a roadmap for re-opening, Australian business owners are preparing for a rush of support in the coming weeks.
To inform what the new normal will look like for the food and beverage industry, Australian payments company Zeller today released The Zeller Hospitality Report: Diner-Led Insights to Recovery, revealing how diners’ preferences have evolved as a result of the pandemic, and providing insights for restaurant and cafe owners, publicans, operators and managers who are preparing to reopen their venues in the coming weeks.
The results of the survey, completed by 1,000 Australian diners, indicate that the food and beverage industry is set to rebound once restrictions are lifted, and that diners are advocates for tighter COVID-safety guidelines to get them eating out as soon as possible:
- Diners are willing to prove that they’re COVID-safe in order to eat again: 60% of diners are willing to show a recent negative COVID test if requested to dine at a venue, while 74% support a venue requesting a proof of vaccination certification.
- COVID-safety will be a major deciding factor when diners choose where to eat: 83% of diners rank a venue’s COVID-safety as a critical factor they will consider when choosing where to eat or drink; more important than the cost of the meal, or how far the venue is from their home.
- Cashless is now king: More than 4 in 5 diners (88%) who plan to eat at restaurants post-lockdown now prefer cash-free, contactless payments when settling the bill, a trend which was established with the decline in cash seen during the early days of the pandemic.
- Diners want to get out and “shop local” in their community more post-lockdown: 67% of diners say that post-lockdown, their preference will be to dine at and support hospitality venues in their local community. This sentiment was more expressly felt in Victoria, where diners have been in lockdown now for over 230 days; 75% of Victorians said they are more likely to support local food and beverage establishments, which they’re likely to have frequented regularly during strict travel restrictions.
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