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How is spending changing in Aussie venues?


Joshua McNicol, Zeller Director of Growth

“Across the thousands of Australian pubs, bars and venues that use Zeller Terminal, we’ve seen a shift over the past 6 months which, aligned to the economic mood and sensitivity of punters.

We’re seeing consumers drinking more, and spending less in their local pub, bar, or venue — switching from a pint to a pot, or purchasing a snack over a main meal. This signals that the typical customer’s hip pockets are being hit by inflation, and makes it more important than ever that venue owners are tracking and understanding shifting consumer preferences, in order to remain competitive in the market.

With the average spend in these venues dropping over the past 6 months, it’s more important than ever that publicans and business owners are utilising the right financial solutions that keep their expenses low while accelerating their cash flow. At Zeller, we’ve been proud to onboard and support thousands of pubs, bars and venues over the past year — from larger venues like Hotel Sorrento to community pubs such as the Ascot Vale Hotel. By giving these business owners access to more affordable EFTPOS solutions, and arming them with more spending and transaction reporting that they can monitor in real-time from the Zeller App, our merchants are in a much stronger position to make informed financial decisions in a more volatile economic landscape.”

Nicholas Schultze, Managing Partner of Ascot Vale Hotel and Mona Castle Hotel

"We have definitely seen spending habits change across our venues in the last six months. Patrons are opting more for specials than previously, partly because we are marketing them more heavily on social media, and because they are more visible when people approach the bar.

Immediately post-COVID-19 lockdowns people were opting for their traditional favourites, ordering multiple items for the table at once – leading to higher average transactions. We are seeing this behaviour change to ordering one or two items at a time, whether a meal special, or a more high-end beer or wine we are doing for a reduced price in collaboration with a local brewer or winery.

Another aspect of this is the move away from bigger, heavy lunches we have seen. More often now, patrons come into our venues for a quick afternoon drink and to graze on a smaller food item or share between two rather than opting for something more traditional like a parma each.

Locals are also changing the way they eat week-to-week – previously people would religiously come down to local's nights, but with changing demographics in the areas, we are seeing this shift. It has become more scattered, with many in the area feeling the pinch with interest rate rises, and growing house prices in inner Melbourne. The younger demographics purchasing property in the area are finding it harder to include weekly pub meals in their budgets, so we are seeing more people than previously, but they are coming in more sporadically."

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