A Sneak Peek into the Future of UK Dining: 2024 Hospitality Insights

Clelia Malinverni

Lightspeed Commerce

Premium Supplier 25th June 2024
Clelia Malinverni

Lightspeed Commerce

Premium Supplier

A Sneak Peek into the Future of UK Dining: 2024 Hospitality Insights

The UK dining scene has truly had its fair share of difficulties thrown its way since 2020. And with such drastic changes and looming uncertainties, customer behaviour has notably shifted. However, Lightspeed has just released fascinating research into the current state of UK hospitality that reveals valuable insights into customer satisfaction in regard to integrated technology, solo dining, tipping, and menu alterations. Restaurants and hospitality businesses can use this research to innovate and adjust their service offerings, attracting more customers and increasing footfall through their doors!

The Cost-Conscious Diner

In the wake of economic ups and downs, it's no surprise that people are tightening their belts. According to Lightspeed’s survey, 57% of us are eating out less. But here's the silver lining: when diners do eat out, they’re still treating themselves to main courses and nearly half can’t resist a sweet treat, with 48% ordering dessert. This is your cue to get creative with your dessert menu and even spice up those starters to boost your average spend.

The QR Code Conundrum

We all remember when QR code menus became particularly popular during the pandemic, as a way to minimise contact and encourage diners to eat out. Well, as it turns out, most of us still prefer the good old physical menu. An incredible 85% of diners in casual settings and 93% in fine dining want to flip through a real menu. But don’t ditch those QR codes just yet—they’re great for efficiency, especially in casual dining spots. So, the trick is to balance both: have physical menus on hand for those who prefer them, and keep the QR option if it suits the style, setting, and needs of your restaurant.

Tech-Savvy Dining

It looks like online reservations are a true winner amongst UK diners. An impressive 86% of customers said they used online booking systems either sometimes or all of the time. This means restaurants can streamline operations and reduce wait times, making dining out a smoother experience for everyone. So, whilst diners would rather enjoy the physicality of a menu, they are still more likely to use technology to book the table rather than call or query in person.

Integrations like Lightspeed’s partnership with *TheFork makes it a breeze to manage bookings and keep track of guest preferences.

Speaking of online bookings, it’s important to note that having a slick website and a solid online presence is key for restaurants nowadays, if you’re choosing to include an integrated online reservation system. A well-designed website that’s easy to navigate and stays updated not only boosts your visibility but also helps hungry customers find everything they need, from menus to booking a table.

Promotions and Loyalty Programs

Lightspeed’s research also highlighted some huge positives for the hospitality industry regarding promotions, value meal deals and loyalty programmes. The research highlights that diners are all about value for money in the current climate. 36% of people are going for set menus or value deals, and 27% are using coupons. Happy hours and loyalty programs are also big hits. Offering deals on alcoholic drinks and creating user-friendly loyalty schemes can really boost your customer’s average spend sum.

Key Takeaways

So, what does all this mean for the future of dining in the UK? It’s clear that restaurants need to adapt and innovate to meet changing customer preferences. Tailor your menus to be wallet-friendly, consider the best ways to present your menus, leverage technology to streamline operations, and don’t forget the power of promotions and loyalty programs.

The hospitality industry has faced some tough times, but with resilience and creativity, there are plenty of opportunities to thrive in the current landscape. Want to dive deeper into these insights? Check out the **full blog post by Lightspeed here and get ready to be inspired!



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