One year on: The trends shaping the hospitality industry

These trends are a promising look into the future and inform how we can begin to restart and rebuild a stronger industry.


One year on: The trends shaping the hospitality industry.  

Over the past 12 months, the hospitality industry has changed dramatically.

me&u data has revealed three interesting trends in our eating and drinking patterns. More customers are visiting their local pub, the CBD is slowly coming back and we’re almost at pre-COVID capacity. 

These trends are a promising look into the future and inform how we can begin to restart and rebuild a stronger industry. 

Renewed love for the local pub.

Since the start of COVID, we’ve seen a 14% increase in orders in suburban venues, as the local pub becomes the go-to place for many Australians working from home. 

Steven Premutico, Founder and CEO of me&u, said: “It is heartwarming to know the enduring appeal of the local pub is stronger than ever. I think this demonstrates that local pubs are at the very heart of the Australian way of life and they are key to reconnecting society again after the toughest of years.”    

As people work from home either full or part-time, popping in for a bite or beer mid-week has also become increasingly more common. 

Elliot Solomon, CEO of Solotel Group which proudly operates 17 pubs and bars across Sydney,  said:


“As people spend more time working from home in the suburbs, of course, there’s more opportunity for them to visit their local pub throughout the week. Whether that’s a midweek lunch or afternoon catch up, it’s been great to see.” 

People are spending more. 

According to our data, pubs are now at 80% of their pre-COVID patronage levels, which is incredible news for the next phase of growth and rebuilding for the hospitality industry.  

In June 2020, following the three-month lockdown, the average spend at pubs spiked by 28% as Australians rushed out to support the industry and socialise with their friends and family again. 

“The numbers prove that Aussies have come out in droves to support their local venues over the past year,” said Stevan.


Today, the average spend is still up 8% YoY and we hope to see a rise as more restrictions ease across the country. 


Nathan Muller, Director of Wesley Anne Group which operates four venues in Victoria, said: 


“It's great to have a reasonable customer base across the board and we’re grateful to welcome back large groups for functions and music events.”


“The pressure of 1: 2 square meters is still proving to be problematic for larger events though, so we’re definitely wearing our ‘organiser hats’ more than ever before."



The CBD is slowly bouncing back.

Orders in CBD venues have unfortunately shrunk 23% year-on-year over the past 12 months.

“The CBD data is of concern, demonstrating once again how much CBD venues, the lifeblood of our city, need everyone’s support,” said Premutico. 


“They have copped the triple hit of no CBD workers, no tourists and no local residents. We’ll be closely monitoring the data over the coming weeks and hope to see a significant upturn now that we can stand up, socialise and dance again”. 

Although, the good news is that numbers are slowly on the rise. Since December 2020, we’re seeing CBD venues bouncing back at a faster rate than those in the suburbs, in line with the easing of restrictions and a push to get back into the office.

Elliot Solomon said, “The inner-city venues certainly were hit hard last year but we’re seeing very positive signs of the CBD thriving again in 2021 as workers return to their city offices”.



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