We're proud to launch the inaugural biannual HospoVitality Index Report, which explores the experiences of restaurant owners from around Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. It reveals the challenges they've faced, how they've responded, the government policy initiatives they believe are necessary to help aid recovery and their plans for the future.
If there's one thing 2020 has demonstrated, it's the perseverance of Australian restaurant, cafe and hospitality venue owners. Despite a year that began with the devastation of the bushfires and the resultant decline in tourism, the majority of restaurants still went into 2020 confident they could expand their business.
Then COVID-19 hit. Since March, restaurant owners have had to navigate both a health crisis and an economic crisis. While nine in ten hospitality businesses stayed open throughout the national lockdowns, this came with huge change. Restaurant owners introduced new revenue streams such as delivery, take away, alcohol with food orders and ready to heat meals. They were also forced to apply for government support and had to reshuffle their staffing, with a staggering 77% now employing fewer staff.
While the Report found a sector uncertain about their immediate prospects, many believe the situation will be far better in 12 months' time, and it is this optimism for the future that reveals their true resilience.
The reality is that it's unlikely we'll ever go back to what was considered normal just months ago, but this presents new opportunities. Australia's hospitality industry is rising to the immense challenge of COVID-19. Businesses across the country are changing the way they operate to ensure they not only survive this crisis, but thrive in the future.
This pandemic has accelerated macro trends that were already in motion such as high-end dining at home and the role of technology in the hospitality customer experience. In addition, many businesses are planning to permanently adopt the new revenue streams introduced during the lockdowns, including food delivery.
These insights and more are contained in the HospoVitality Index Report, which will be produced biannually as a recurring benchmark for the hospitality sector.
To view or download the Report, click here. We hope you enjoy reading it and would love to hear your feedback.