Australian hospitality set to rebound thanks to increased consumer demand

Australians are keener than ever to return to the On Premise, to reconnect with friends and family and to support their local hospitality businesses, according to a new report - the Australian On Premise Consumer Pulse.
Download the Australian On Premise Consumer Pulse Report

As part of CGA’s global expansion program, a host of best-in-class insight solutions are being launched in Australia, all dedicated to the On Premise channel. The first of these research programs is CGA’s monthly On Premise Impact Report, which checks in on around 1,000 Australian On Premise visitors to understand their recent behaviour, how they feel about the channel (including any COVID-19 restrictions) and their intentions for visits in the month ahead.

 

This inaugural report reveals that since the beginning of 2022, 91% of Australians have visited the On Premise for an eating or drinking occasion. When asked about their intentions for the rest of the year, a huge 89% of consumers plan to visit bars, restaurants, and pubs at least the same amount (48%) or more frequently (41%) than they did in 2021.

 

Most Australians are keen to put COVID-19 behind them, with only 13% visiting the channel less over the last two weeks due to concerns around Omicron cases. The majority (59%) of Australian consumers feel more comfortable visiting the On Premise now compared to 2021 and this confidence is even higher with city dwellers. 63% of consumers in Sydney, 65% in Melbourne and 53% in Brisbane state that they are now more comfortable in visiting venues compared to over the last year.

 

Not only do the majority of Australians now feel more comfortable in bar and restaurants, but they are actively looking to treat themselves and to enjoy new or premium experiences. 60% of On Premise visitors say they are likely to pay more for what they perceive as a ‘better quality drink’, while 52% of these consumers would be happy to ‘trade-up’ following a direct recommendation from a bartender or server.

 

The major enablement to recommendation and brand advocacy however is training. CGA’s custom bartender research, which was conducted earlier this year in Australia, reinforces how important supplier training is for the bartender community. 61% of bartenders surveyed said that following training, they were more confident when making recommendations. 51% also said that training made it ‘more likely for them to make recommendations’ and 1 in 5 bartenders said that training has resulted in menu changes.

 

Although COVID-19 has impacted the job satisfaction of many hospitality staff, 62% are now feeling optimistic about the future of the industry over the next year. For many reasons, crucial to job satisfaction will be effective training and support – with 90% of bartenders saying they are happy to take part in supplier engagement programmes over the next 12 months.

 

CGA’s managing director, Americas and Asia Pacific, Scott Elliott said: “It’s clear that the Australian consumer is keen to not only return to normal On Premise behaviour, but many intend to make up for lost time. A significant proportion of Australians are now heading back into the channel with a treat mindset, looking for celebratory and experience-led occasions. Now is the time for sophisticated suppliers to really lean-in to help their customers maximise this opportunity. Staff training and advocacy programs, footfall-driving activations, promotional support, technology engagement to help customers navigate a massively changed Path to Purchase – these are all areas in which suppliers can proactively build investment strategies.

Bartenders and bar owners have told us that the number one factor for listing a brand is the relationship with the supplier or distributor (44%). What we have seen in other On Premise markets that are a little further down the path to full re-opening is that the suppliers who most lean into this channel now gain space, share and customer loyalty once things return to some degree of normality.”

 

Click here to download the latest Australian On Premise Consumer Pulse report. To learn more about CGA’s consumer research and market measurement services across both Australia and New Zealand, please contact Scott Elliott at scott.elliott@cgastrategy.com

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