Australians plan to spend over $3.6bn in hospitality venues this Christmas

Paul Hadida, General Manager APAC at SevenRooms

As much as $3.6 billion could flow into Australian hospitality venues over the festive period, but in Australia’s competitive, world-famous hospitality scene, Aussies are looking for venues that provide personalised experiences and “Christmas novelty”, according to new research by SevenRooms, a guest experience and retention platform for the hospitality industry. 

What were the findings of SevenRooms’ survey?

Despite rising cost of living, inflation and interest rate hikes putting a squeeze on household spending, Aussies plan to spend an average of $180 drinking or dining out during the holiday season – equating to over $3.6 billion to be spent across hospitality venues nationwide. 

More than half (54%) of Aussies confirm this amount was largely in line with their spending in the 2021 Christmas period. According to the research, which sought to understand the impact of the economic headwinds on the hospitality industry, consumers are still cognisant of the economic impact on the local hospitality industry, with four in five (79%) agreeing local restaurants, bars and cafes need their support more than ever as a result of COVID. 

Around half of Australians (49%) plan to eat out at a restaurant to celebrate the Christmas period, with ten percent securing their reservations before mid-November. However, as summer arrives with news that much of Australia will be bombarded with heavy rain, 10% of Australians said they would be likely to cancel or not show up to a booking if it is raining.

This makes tech a critical investment heading into the summer period, and new policies, like requiring a credit card for all holiday bookings, a must-have for hospitality operators. 

Australians see a host of opportunities to persuade them to visit a restaurant as a newcomer and as a repeat client. According to the study, Aussies say they could be persuaded to visit a restaurant if the venue had a complimentary drink on arrival (32%), special festive family-booking rates (27%), or a special Christmas-themed menu and seasonal cocktails (25%). 

Other things that will encourage patronage include festive fixed-price menus with preferred rates, discounts to redeem against a future visit or early access to future events. 

What do the findings mean for the hospitality industry?

The festive period is about spending quality time and enjoying beautiful experiences with the ones we love, and that’s certainly the case according to our research. Despite challenging economic conditions and weather forecasts anticipating a wetter than usual Summer, there are plenty of ways venues can provide meaningful experiences that boost loyalty and revenue at an important time of the year,” said Paul Hadida, GM APAC at SevenRooms.

“Technology ensures that every guest interaction is maximised and venues covered for any eventuation. For example, we’re seeing a trend of more venues requesting a deposit to minimise no-shows and cancellations, and the financial impact they have,” Hadida added.

“Now more than ever, guests demand personalisation, and through approved guest data venues can provide the tailored experiences. To go the extra mile, restaurants can incentivise and reward a guest’s visit with complimentary drinks, personalised offers or loyalty points.”

“The festive season is about giving, and Aussies also say some Christmas novelty would encourage their patronage too. Through tech and meaningful experiences, there are many ways venues can spread the cheer and use it as a springboard into a prosperous 2023.”

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