It’s not just food that’s fuelling transformation across Australia’s hospo scene – it’s technology. There’s a smorgasbord of innovation being served up at the moment, a recipe of tech that’s helping to improve operational efficiencies, customer service and the dining experience itself.
A large chunk of this tech innovation was cooked up during the pandemic. Things like lockdowns, capacity limits and staff shortages inspired a new era of dining Down Under as a result of all the ways venues have had to adapt to- and thrive within- a post-covid world.
As the dust settles on lockdown life, it’s become clear exactly which innovations are helping businesses not only rebuild but succeed within this renewed food landscape. Key to cashing in on these trends is keeping an open mind to new tech and all the ways they can keep doors open and customers happy.
Here are seven top trends we’re seeing across the hospitality industry right now.
1. Fresh payment options
No points for guessing which payment method has fast become a popular choice for younger diners – Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL). It’s already amassed more than six million users worldwide. In fact, BNPL transactions rose a whopping 43% in the 12 months to June 2020, just as the effects of covid were really taking hold, and they’re expected to grow by 72.1% annually to reach US$ 13516.0 million in 2022. So, you can only imagine how many Aussies are making use of it now. Well, payo is the brand bringing BNPL to the hospo industry, supporting higher spending and swifter payments as we do it. Instead of forking out for the bill in full on the spot, diners are now able to enjoy a richer dining experience and pay it off in four payments. Plus, we’re harnessing the universal power of QR codes to deliver an unbeatable fusion of tech that means paying the bill has never been easier.
2. Digital dining experiences
Minimising contact between staff and customers became a priority during the pandemic. But only when we were forced to transact with minimal contact did we realise just how convenient it was to peruse the menu and pay from your table. And that’s why this digital trend is sticking around – it saves times and hassle for everyone. So, when you offer a third-party payment platform like payo checkout in your venue, customers simply scan a QR code to settle the bill. Simple.
3. Diversifying revenue streams
Covid was a harsh wakeup call for businesses who relied solely on people dining in for their income. Since then, we’ve seen a lot of creative pivoting from venues looking to recoup their losses. This includes branded merchandise, delivery, takeaway, vouchers and packages. The one thing driving this pivot is mobile, giving customers the ability to support local venues from the palm of their hands.
4. Robots (seriously)
Ok, yes, we’re being a little dramatic. ‘Machines’ are increasingly being incorporated into the dining experience to help automate the process. They also provide swift, contactless service. Don’t believe us? Here are eight examples.
5. Labour-saving tech
A big part of the rise in tech-based customer service is its contactless nature (see? It’s why robots are on the rise). Technology like self-checkout software can also, however, alleviate a lot of the pressure on your floor staff. Take payo checkout for example. It gives customers the power to pay from their table, giving staff more time to focus on delivering a delicious dining experience for their customers. It also enables you to turn over the tables faster, saving an average of ten minutes per sitting; enables split bills at the table, mitigating human error and disgruntled customers; and attracts customers who already use payo’s eat now, pay later option.
6. Provider-type businesses
Many Australians have gotten comfortable enjoying top-notch food from the comfort of their couch. During the pandemic, many businesses saw the value in operating takeaway-only businesses that don’t operate brick-and-mortar venues, but rather kitchens. So instead of dining in, customers can order food straight to their door through an app.
7. Retail innovation
Like BNPL itself, hospitality is borrowing a lot of innovations from the retail industry. In 2019, Melbourne welcomed its first checkout-free 7-Eleven store, with patrons making all purchases through an app. Now, in 2022, venues can use platforms like payo checkout to remove the need to manually process transactions altogether. Instead, diners can enjoy the convenience of contactless payments.
Taking into account these seven delicious trends, it’s no surprise that tech is playing a big part in rebuilding the hospitality scene here in Australia and throughout the world.
To learn more about how payo is transforming the hospitality scene in Australia, click here.