Restaurant managers face a challenging industry in 2023 but there are opportunities from trends and hospitality statistics from 2022. In this article, we break down what managers can expect in a post-pandemic hospitality industry when it comes to bookings, what restaurants should be offering, and diner behaviour to leverage.
In this time of uncertainty, ResDiary CEO Colin Winning shares his thoughts and opinions on emerging trends that the restaurant and hospitality industry should be aware of coming into 2023.
The rise of the set menu
Amidst the cost-of-living crisis, Colin expects price-sensitive consumers to be stricter in their management of dining out budgets and is therefore encouraging restaurants to invest more time and creativity into their fixed price menus. He says, “it’s essential you promote these set menus amongst your restaurant’s standard al la carte and other dining options”.
2022 saw a rise in longer seating times of 2 hours or more. This indicates diner demand for long lunches and relaxed dining into 2023. This behaviour can work for venues offering set menus as it is a way to ensure revenue across the longer dining time.
60% decrease in cancellations in 2022
There was a decreasing trend of cancellations in 2022, likely due to a combination of deposits/credit card required to hold a booking, and with increased demand from diners. In 2022 venues became increasingly savvy in preventing no-shows.
“Restaurants should be investing in carefully curated menus that position higher yielding items front and centre, but also make sure to utilise your consumer behaviour insights and menu design to identify psychological pricing and opportunities for upselling”, Colin says.
Up to 30.1% of bookings from online sources
The Australian hospitality industry saw a steady number of bookings come per month last year, despite rising inflation and staffing challenges. Online bookings resulted in approximately 30.1% of all bookings in Australia in 2022, and is expected to climb as diners continue to book restaurants online. This drives the importance of ensuring your venue is connected online channels where diners can easily book a table.
Growing trend of bookings for smaller hospitality venues
Family business owners and independent venues can rest assured that there is a fair share of revenue from hungry diners. In 2022, smaller restaurants and family owned venues saw 46% of all bookings in the market. Paired with the right hospitality technology and ability to accept online bookings, managers can look forward to having a healthy revenue share from the market in 2023.
Stable cuisine popularity growth
Diners continue to be adventurous across all cuisines on offer in Australia, with all cuisines on the rise when it comes to booking popularity.
Solo dining is no longer a taboo
While tables of between 2-5 guests still make up 80% of bookings (on average), dining solo is becoming increasingly popular. Tables for one only accounted for 2.6% of all bookings in January 2022, yet this steadily increased to reach a peak of 4.6% by November 2022.
The future is tech, so embrace it early
Highlighting the two major drawbacks of phone-based and pen-and-paper systems, time and staff availability, Colin highlights the availability of staff during the restaurant’s operating hours, with other duties inviting pressure for your team to take reservation requests.
He says “as convenience will continue to be one of the most important factors in a consumer's decision making process the pen and paper model is becoming less sustainable”
“There is increasing proportion of the market becoming inaccessible to P&P restaurants and without an online booking platform, the continued shift towards online booking systems such as ResDiary will signal the final blow to the feasibility of the traditional pen and paper system”
Read our 2023 Inflation Guide for Hospitality for industry statistics, cost of living effect & steps a restaurant can take to protect their venue.
Chief Executive Officer, ResDiary