The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

New Zealand on-premise is on the road to recovery, according to new research

Most consumers in New Zealand are feeling positive and ready to support the hospitality sector in 2022, according to a new report from CGA, the global on-premise data and insights consultancy.

The first ‘New Zealand On Premise Consumer Pulse report’, which studies consumers around the country, reveals that 89% of New Zealand consumers surveyed have visited the on-premise already in 2022.

While there are lingering concerns around COVID-19, the vast majority of these consumers are eager to get back to bars and restaurants – with 78% planning to visit the same or more often than they did in 2021.

Of the 22% visiting less often, more than half are concerned about the rise of Omicron cases.

While it’s expected these customers will return to normal behaviour as Omicron concerns dissipate, operators can still go some way in easing these concerns through adjusting venue layout and maintaining a table service offering.

51% of New Zealand consumers would feel more comfortable visiting the on-premise if social distancing was maintained, while mandatory masks (49%) and table service only (32%) also ranked highly. Keeping these standards high have never been more important.

However, the vast majority of Kiwis are keen to engage with the channel right now and one in five (21%) intend to visit the on-premise more over the months ahead than last year.

“There is little doubt that the hospitality industry in New Zealand has been hit hard by the pandemic but this latest research suggests that consumers do want to come back and the tide is beginning to turn,” says CGA’s managing director, Americas and Asia Pacific, Scott Elliott said.

“Right now, the key to success for suppliers will be to take learning from other markets a little further down this path.

“In other developed on-premise markets, the suppliers who have been able to best help their customers navigate a new guest path to purchase – especially in the areas of maximising visit spend via digital and server advocacy/upselling – have gained space, share and loyalty. Now is the time though, not in 12 months.

“Based on our experience around the world, there is no doubt that once the hospitality sector has returned to a more traditional trading pattern, the suppliers who were most proactive in their investment at this resurgent stage have seen the greatest benefits. These gains are proving hard to displace by the late-returners.”

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