New Report Shows Consumer Priorities to Future-Proof Hospitality Industry
Survey data from 2,600+ respondents aged 18-65 cites technology, sustainability, inclusivity and sober curiosity among trending topics
New York, NY – A new research report by me&u, a global hospitality at-table ordering solution, has revealed new feedback addressing consumer expectations across demographics for hospitality venues of the future. In partnership with YouGov, Red Havas and Havas Labs, this report provides an in-depth look into the changes from the customer perspective and explores new predictions that operators within the hospitality industry will adopt throughout the next decade. These findings spur from a combination of expert interviews and analysis through detailed industry reporting and media. The survey was then carried out in the U.S., as well as Australia and the U.K. As operators look to keep their fingers on the pulse of consumer demand, this data will empower hospitality businesses to “future-proof,” and thereby accelerate key aspects of their business for years to come.
An overarching 70% of Americans expect that smart technology will be part of almost every venue soon, and other common themes throughout the report include the expectation of inclusivity from operators, the emergence of Web3 in hospitality, a growing concern for excess waste, a non-alcoholic movement, and more.
The study found that among other key indicators:
- 66% of Americans say they would use a food service app which allowed them to split the bill easily with friends
- One third (33%) of Americans expect all bars and restaurants to offer a good range of alcohol-free beverages.
- 52% of Millennials say they would like to be able to try a new venue in the metaverse to see what it is like before visiting it in real life.
- Four in five (80%) Americans agree that they prefer bars and restaurants that cater for all budgets with good value for money options.
- Customers expect restaurants and bars to be supportive of diversity and inclusion with three quarters (76%) agreeing that all bars and restaurants should be accessible and welcoming to those with physical or mental disabilities.
- 8 in 10 (80%) Americans say they prefer to visit bars and restaurants where they know all staff are treated well.
FANCY ANOTHER BYTE?
Data and Personalization Will Power the Next Generation
Over the last few years, restaurants and bars began to shift towards the use of technology for the same reason most industries quickly adapt to these advancements – to create a more efficient operation.
Smart technology is here to stay, and while Americans embrace tech in virtually every other aspect of their lives and are accustomed to utilizing QR codes, the innovation throughout hospitality venues will continue to be both embraced and encouraged. The majority (70%) of Americans who go to bars and restaurants expect that smart technology will be part of almost all bars and restaurants in the near future, and most (66%) would use a food service app which allowed them to split the bill easily with friends. However, 8 in 10 (81%) agree that while technology can be useful, they feel bars and restaurants are all about people and human interactions.
With the rise of hyper-personalized venues comes the need to tailor the experience to every unique visitor. Half (49%) of consumers surveyed were found to be more likely to visit venues that use technology to give them a personalized menu that’s unique to their tastes, including tailored beverage recommendations.
WHO KNEW SOBER CURIOSITY COULD BE SO SEXY
Will non-alcoholic beverages be the hot new drink on tap?
Many Americans may be redefining their relationship with alcohol, thus rethinking how they view bars and hospitality venues. 33% of customers expect bars and restaurants to offer a good range of alcohol-free beverage options, and more than a third (35%) of Americans say they’re happy to visit completely alcohol-free bars or restaurants, a similar number expecting all bars to have a good range of alcohol-free beverage options (33%).
Customers will be looking for the same care and attention from staff as before; for staff to have a level of knowledge, a recommendation and a point of view on the alcohol-free beer, wine or cocktail they’re drinking.
MEET ME IN THE METAVERSE
As the new catch-all term for the ‘future of the internet’ – Hospitality venues of the future will see the role of the metaverse coming into play. me&u’s findings showed most Millennials (52%) agreed they’d be interested in trying a new venue in the metaverse first and half (50%) would be interested in a venue using the metaverse to experience virtual reality activities, such as virtual tours of the region they selected their wine from.
It’s not only what you pay with which will become easier, but also how you pay.
WAGING THE WAR ON WASTE
Hospitality’s pathway to net positive
With new data on the severe impact of food waste from all links of the food service supply chain, coupled with an acute awareness of climate change, the next generation will expect action from the bars and restaurants they choose to support in these areas. 61% of customers think that bars and restaurants produce a worrying amount of waste from menus and other disposable items and should take action to reduce it.
THREE CHEERS FOR THE STAFF
Guests Notice How Employees are Treated
According to the report, looking after employees could pay dividends for bar and restaurant owners with eight in ten (80%) Americans who go out to bars and restaurants regularly saying they prefer to visit bars and restaurants where they know all staff are treated well. Overall, 84% of Americans believe that bars and restaurants with staff that are better taken care of in turn provide better customer experiences, including over half (55%) who strongly agree with this sentiment.
EQUAL THIRD PLACE
Inclusivity is Non-negotiable
Diversity and inclusion are no longer seen as a nice addition to workplace policies. Customers believe that hospitality brands must incorporate values and be both accepting and welcoming, and they will in turn support those that are. Customers expect restaurants and bars to have strong diversity and inclusion policies with about three quarters (76%) agreeing that all bars and restaurants should be accessible and welcoming to those with physical or mental disabilities, including half (48%) who strongly agree, while one in two (52%) agree they will only attend bars and restaurants that support diversity and inclusion.
For more information or to access the full report, visit www.meandu.com.
Leading hospitality technology scale-up, me&u is on a mission to transform the global hospitality industry for the better. Founded in 2018, me&u was conceptualized by Founder Stevan Premutico, to transform the traditional ordering experience in a bid to solve the deep-rooted structural issues that have been the Achilles heel of the hospitality industry for decades. Smart technology and human-led value systems from me&u are at the core of driving this transformation by offering highly personalized ordering experiences and payment options for both customers and venues around the world.
About the research
The research is based on an online survey of n=2,296 Americans 18-65 years who visit bars and restaurants. The survey was conducted between 21-27 June 2022. Final results were weighted by age, gender and location to ensure they are representative of the broader population.
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