After six lockdowns totaling 262 days it is perhaps no surprise the people of Melbourne were keen to show their support for hospitality venues and also show their gratitude to the staff working in them.

Data from leading at-table ordering platform me&u showed an 18 per cent uplift in sales from the Monday to Sunday of trading prior to this latest lockdown. Food sales were up 12 per cent, beverage sales were up 40 per cent, but encouragingly tips for hospitality workers were up a phenomenal 140 per cent.

Founder and CEO of me&u, Stevan Premutico, said: “We’re so proud that me&u were able to play such a pivotal role in Melbourne reopening its doors again. There’s no mistaking that we’re grateful to be back in venues with our family and friends again. The blood, sweat, and tears shed by the great people of hospitality to open up the doors again hasn’t gone unnoticed.”

The role of platforms like me&u in helping increase tips for staff is something that Premutico talked to The Shout about in August, when the company released its trends report aimed at helping venues operate smarter.

Premutico said me&u added a tipping feature to its platform in June 2020, which led to an eightfold increase in tipping nationwide with around $10m in tips raised through the platform.

“I think as an industry we have to make the industry more attractive to work in and one way to do that is to help people earn more money. So after we included a tipping option on the platform we saw customer say yes, and tipping more, which simply wasn’t happening when you went up to pay at the counter,” Premutico said.

In terms of what customers were buying in venues, it followed a similar pattern to that which was seen in Sydney when hospitality venues reopened there with the pub classics proving popular as chicken parmigiana, fries, schnitzel, garlic bread, and fish & chips were the most ordered food items.

Espresso Martinis emerged as the number one beverage of choice across both states, with sales topping the charts over the week, up 126 per cent in Melbourne. While Sydneysiders celebrated the end of lockdown with cocktails such as Aperol Spritz and Margaritas rounding out the other top drinks, Melbourne preferred to sit back with a beer in hand with sales of Balter XPA (up +46 per cent), Carlton Draught (up +45 per cent), and Coburg Lager (up +32 per cent) rounding out the most popular beverages of choice.

“There is an energy that is unlike anything we’ve seen in a long time. We’ve missed hospitality and are thrilled to see venues in Sydney and Melbourne open up their doors again in time for the busiest time of the year for the industry ,” said Premutico.

me&u partners with 500+ of the best brands in the country including the likes of Merivale, Pacific Concepts, Solotel, Moon Dog, The Portsea Hotel, and Howard Smith Wharves.

Premutico also presented at The Bloody Big Drinks Summit, talking about ‘The future of hospitality, how technology will change and improve the industry’.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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