Publicans from across Australia discussed the evolving behaviours and opportunities they’ll be focusing on this year, in Australian Hotelier’s 2024 Annual Industry Leaders Forum.

Next-gen personalised offers

“We’ve seen the demand for personalised experience increase across the industry, and following the boom of order-to-table tech we’ve been able to capture data about who our customers are and what interests them most,” stated Ben Carroll, co-owner of Applejack Hospitality.

“Moving through 2024, our sights are set to combine this data with geofencing to directly send targeted and tailored offers to our customers. This is set to be game-changing for our community pubs, Taphouse Sydney and Forrester’s Surry Hills. Imagine strolling past Taphouse, and our data reveals you’re a fan of trying out new-release beers. Well, now we’re equipped to shoot a push-notification straight to your phone, tempting you with an exclusive offer to come in and try a new beer we’re pouring.

“Personalisation is trending more than ever, and being able to pump on these technologies quickly is the point of difference for our pubs. It’s not just about staying ahead of the curve; it’s about building stronger connections with our customers and fostering loyalty in an ever-evolving landscape.”

Affordable ticketed events

“One thing we’re seeing is when people are paying a lot of money for a ticket to go to something, they do tend to drink less, they have less money to spend over the bar. But when the price of entry is low, the bar sales are often higher. So I would expect that one to continue,” suggested Joel Taylor, general manager of Taylor Group.

“We are a bit wary of anything with a $50 ticket or above, and we really want to focus on cheap and cheerful events, $15 and $20 tickets. For us, it’s just about making sure we’re still getting the volume of people through the door.”

Brand collaborations

“I think we will continue to see more collaborations with exceptional brands and other venues to achieve traction and purpose from the guests’ point of view, as it is super important,” stated Josh Reynolds, bar director of Dolphin Hotel.

“Pubs that are multi-faceted in what they offer should be striving to reach new heights. I love how the humble pub has changed and quality of delivery is expected now more than ever. Trends, at times, can be hard to predict but flavour is king and I think pubs need to start bending to the will of ‘fresh is best’ on all levels.”

Work and play

“For 2024, we see the role of our pubs continuing to expand beyond that of a social meeting place,” stated Joanna Chronis, COO of Duxton Hospitality Services.

“Our venues are becoming places that our customers also want to do business from, offering comfortable meeting spaces, reliable Wi-Fi, great coffee and food. Customers can visit our venue for a breakfast meeting, stay all day and then close out with a dinner with family or friends.”

These are just a few of the insights shared with Australian Hotelier within the Annual Industry Leaders Forum. Keep an eye out for the issue, to be published soon!

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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