Sustainability and technology are expected to become major focus areas for operators in the few years, according to Morgan Kelly, KPMG Australia’s global sector lead of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure – Restructuring.

Kelly shared these and many other predictions with attendees at the Pub Leaders Summit 2022 which was held last week in Pyrmont, Sydney.

In his presentation Hospitality Outlook 2022 – Living with Covid, Kelly explored the impact of fuel prices, inflation, interest rates, consumer spending and wage inflation on the industry now and into the future.

“The key elephants in the room are inflation and interest rates. We’re expecting to see inflation over the next 12 to 18 months driven by fuel prices,” Kelly said.

Labour shortages would also continue to challenge operators, he said. “The sector is going to have to come to terms with food labour shortages and work out how to embrace those and how to lean into that because it’s a challenge that’s not going away.”

According to Kelly, the shortages would drive increased uptake of automation, and he said technology would also be embedded into more and more hospitality offerings to enhance customer experience.

“In Europe we are seeing the use of technology to transform customer experiences. We’ve seen some really interesting things like installation digital art and augmented reality displays, where you actually have an augmented reality menu floating above the table.”

There’s also been a huge acceleration in sustainability in the industry, Kelly says. “Things like Co2 emission reductions are a major focus for operators because it’s a major focus for their customers.

“We’d expect to see the consumer demand for environmentally-sourced sustainable and healthy produce to be reflected in Australia as well.”

In terms of industry consolidation, Kelly predicted that “big brands would get bigger”, as hospitality operators continued to consolidate and move from independent operators to larger chains or brands.

You’ll find our full Pub Leaders Summit 2022 wrap in the May issue of Australian Hotelier.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *