Post-COVID-19 dine-in trends.

We surveyed everyday Australians to find out how COVID-19 has impacted their behaviours and expectations. Here are our insights:

Australian Dine-in trends since COVID-19.

It’s no surprise that hospitality is one of the hardest-hit industries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the industry inevitably changes, we reached out to a cross-section of Australian diners to understand what those changes might be. 

We surveyed 501 people from 27-29th April 2020 and gained some incredible insights into the future of the industry. It’s clear that customer expectations and preferences are evolving and the industry will need to adapt beyond the pandemic. Let’s have a look at what the “other side” looks like:

1. Do you feel COVID-19 will affect/change your behaviour when eating out?

85% of customers said their eating patterns would change due to COVID-19. There are lasting changes in habits that operators will need to adapt to. 

2. Post COVID-19, will you spend more or less in a restaurant/bar?

The survey found that 27% of customers will spend less as people have less disposable income. However, 60% said it won’t impact their spending habits. This is an encouraging insight for operators, who will look forward to restrictions being eased or lifted. 

3. When the laws relax, will you eat out more, less or the same amount?

In promising news, 53% of customers will eat out just as often and 20% will actually eat out more often after lockdown. This speaks to a newfound appreciation for in-person social connection after hibernation. The Australian people are ready to dine-in again and support their local bars and restaurants.

4. In a bar/restaurant - which menu would you prefer to order from? 

65% of people surveyed said they would prefer a digital menu on their own smartphone. As customers become more hygiene-conscious, there is a strong preference for contactless experiences and the convenience of using a personal device. 

5. Would you be more likely to attend a venue that implements extra procedures for your hygiene and safety?

74% of respondents said they were more likely or very more likely to attend a venue that took extra precautions for hygiene and safety. 

There is a changing expectation and venue owners need to take their guest’s safety seriously in order to thrive. 

6. Will you feel comfortable ordering a beer at a congested counter/queue

60% of customers are now wary of standing in queues. In busy venues, it’s difficult to maintain physical distancing standards when ordering from the bar or register. Customers would prefer an option that prevents them from being in close contact to others for hygiene and safety reasons. 

7. What form of payment would you feel most comfortable with:

95% of customers want to pay with a credit card or mobile payment. COVID-19 was the final nudge in the movement away from cash.

Key conclusions

- There are important & encouraging signs that Aussies are hungry to eat/drink out again. It’s clearly a core part of our lifestyle and perhaps more "essential" than we thought.

- Spend will drop as broader financial pressures impact us all, but perhaps not as significantly as many may have feared. 60% of Aussies do not intend to change their spending patterns on the "other side.”

- Customer expectations have evolved, they will gravitate towards venues that take their health & safety seriously.

- People prefer to view a digital menu on their own phone – a device that they trust.

- People will continue to dine and drink out - but perhaps a little differently. As operators, we need to rethink our strategy before we restart because a new customer will await us.

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Australian customers want safer, easier and contact-free hospitality experiences. Check out our website to find out more about me&u's platform for your venue.

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