Digital platforms now key for driving on-premise traffic

Technology has increasingly become more entwined in trips to pubs, bars, and restaurants in Australia, with digital platforms now playing a major role in driving on-premise traffic.

CGA by NielsenIQ’s latest research has revealed 59% of Australian on-premise consumers use digital platforms to decide where to visit for food-led visits, while over 40% use these platforms to plan drink-led occasions too.

In the last month, consumers in Australia’s on premise have visited more often – with 89% visiting for food-led occasions (+2 percentage points versus July), and 46% going out for drinks (+6 percentage points higher).

When it comes to planning visits to the channel, consumers are more likely to interact with online platforms to help plan food-led occasions (59% of consumers), however two-fifths of consumers are using these platforms for planning drink-led occasions as well. 86% of consumers who use online platforms when planning their visit are likely or very likely to visit a venue they discovered online.

Key for venues is demonstrating an active online presence across multiple online channels to reach as many consumers as possible. Although social media channels are used frequently as a source of information, consumers are most likely to use search engines for hospitality-related content. These consumers are seeking posts about the venue itself, food and drink options, and promotional deals – making this type of content essential for driving footfall.

Consumers can also be swayed by celebrity endorsement – with over 1 in 5 Australian consumers stating they have bought a drink brand that is associated with a celebrity or influencer – and 25% buying food or drink that a celebrity/influencer has posted about. However, it’s not just fame that can influence the consumer decision making process. Half of consumers view hospitality-related content from local food and drinks blogs – highlighting the impact of consumer advocacy.

These consumers aren’t just looking for recommendations for drinks and food in the On Premise – they also rely on online content to shape their experiences at home with 55% of these consumers viewing online drinks-making tutorials. However, after viewing these online posts, 45% bought the same drink when out in the On Premise and 43% felt encouraged to go out to a hospitality venue.

James Phillips, Director of Client Solutions: Asia Pacific, said: “An active online presence has become essential for hospitality venues in Australia, with consumers wanting to share their experiences and feel part of a larger community.”

Cocktail consumption continues to rise in the Aussie on-premise

CGA by NielsenIQ’s Australia On Premise Consumer Pulse looks at the behaviours and motivations of 750 consumers each month to highlight their past and planned visitation, confidence in visiting pubs, bars, and restaurants and to examine hot topics in more detail. 

The latest research shows wine consumption has seen an uplift of +5 percentage points versus the previous month, with beer down -3pp versus the same period and cocktails up +15pp – suggesting a shift towards more high-tempo occasions in the on premise.

Phillips said online content that traditionally drives off -premise behaviours, such as cocktail making videos, can form part of a strategy to drive footfall to hospitality venues and turbocharge cocktail sales.

“Recruiting bartenders or drinks ambassadors to post this type of content online can both increase drinks sales in the off premise but also encourage consumers to buy the same drink at a pub, bar, or restaurant.”

In May, CGA research showed cocktails are one of the categories most likely to be drunk more than last year by Australian consumers. In fact, a huge 28% of Australians say they are drinking more cocktails in bars and restaurants than last year. The experts behind the bar are also confident about the future success of the category, with 59% of bartenders stating that they believe that cocktails are in the best position to thrive in 2022 – the number one choice among all beverage categories.

But why are cocktails so in tune with the returning on-premise visitor? The OPUS data showed that the main driver behind ordering a cocktail is that consumers are “looking for a treat” (45% of category drinkers). This aligns broadly with the premiumisation trend identified in the on-premise channel around the world.

Download the latest Australia Consumer Pulse Report here –

Pictured main: Londres 126 is located in the stylish new dining hub Quay Quarters, near Circular Quay. Pictured above: A new restaurant and bar at The Star Sydney, Rumble, is mixing modern Asian dishes with a spice-infused cocktail menu.

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