New data shows venues are using upgrades to incentivise reservations

September 21, 2023
By Rachel White

As cost-of-living pressures continue to climb, new search from guest experience and retention platform SevenRooms reveals venues are prioritising upgrades and add-ons to lure in patrons rather than cost-cutting.

The data shows a 26 per cent year-on-year increase in pre-paid reservations, generating 25 per cent more revenue for venues in this area. Reservations are often booked to take advantage of an upgrade, special experience or event.

Paul Hadida, General Manager, APAC at SevenRooms, said that while inflation and interest rates appear to have climaxed, providing reason for optimism, cost-of-living pressures still influence household budgets.

“SevenRooms research reveals a staggering 68 per cent of Australians are focusing more on the quality, rather than the quantity, of their dining experiences. This shift in mindset is a direct response to the economic pressures that have become an everyday reality for many. Despite those economic headwinds, Australians are clearly not willing to compromise on the joy and experience they derive from visiting their favourite bar or restaurant,” he said.

Other key findings show that 33 per cent of Australians consider themselves as special occasion diners and 35 per cent saying they were more likely to prebook if the venue is offering a better overall dining experience.

Hadida added that diners “are looking for an experience that goes beyond mere sustenance, they want meaningful memories and personalised attention. Venues that recognise and cater to this desire are the ones gaining a competitive edge.”

Bars and restaurants with a mindset of “don’t just survive, but thrive” are the ones adapting the best. The data shows restaurants leveraging value-added options to incentivise reservations are attract new customers and retaining loyal patrons at higher rates.

“One critical takeaway is the importance of booking directly with a restaurant. When guests do so, and opt-in to sharing their data with the venue, that venue is able to use the insights to tailor their offerings to meet individual preferences and expectations. In essence, it’s a win-win situation.

“Aussies get more value for their money and a superior experience, while venues can build loyalty with their customers and overcome short-term challenges while economic pressures ease medium- to long-term,” said Hadida.

Featured image: Paul Hadida, General Manager, APAC at SevenRooms.

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