The Australian hospitality industry  is huge. The sheer volume of people it employs and serves makes it a crucial part of the everyday life and source of income for many.

The market has taken a big hit as a result of the global pandemic. As COVID-19 continues to unleash more of its side effects, the foodservice industry must be agile and ready.

Times are changing, and so is the hospitality industry. Now, with orders from the Australian Government to close pubs, bars, cafés, restaurants and other licensed venues in the hospitality industry to restrict social gatherings, things are no longer the same.

Moreover, the massive spending tourist market has taken a hit as a result of travel bans. With many restaurants and cafés reliant on the travel, accommodation and event sector to survive, it’s time to evaluate other opportunities to generate revenue.

Cafés and restaurants must adapt to the new economic climate. First and foremost, the online delivery sector is going to boom.
In fact, off-premise dining increased in Australia by 10 per cent in February alone.

Daniel Gunning, CEO of Spacenow, has noticed a range of trends currently impacting the hospitality industry. “Hospitality professionals are creative and resilient people who have already pivoted their business models to current restrictions,” he says.  “We’ve seen the switch of their food menu and alcohol list, including cocktails, to home delivered meals.”

Gunning notes that this has even extended to restaurants turning intobakeries and selling greengrocer food boxes with the supply of produce they have. In such unstable times where many products are unavailable, it’s helped strengthen community spirit.

“I expect that many will continue this after restrictions are lifted,” he says. “It’s an opportunity to use their cooking skills and access to products as a way to get better utilisation out of the kitchen space, make more sales from existing customers, and open up to new customers in times their businesses would usually be closed.”

This will lead to a new wave of what’s called ‘ghost kitchens’. Also known as dark, smart or virtual kitchens, they are kitchen spaces for food and restaurant services without the storefront. Meals are sold exclusively through delivery channels, eliminating overheads associated with dine-in options.

“They are definitely here to stay and will be a growing market,” says Gunning. “Restaurants can maximise their reach by opening new branches of ghost kitchens in additional locations and extending their brand. After all, they’re cheaper to operate and will yield higher profits.”

At the same time, people who own kitchen space have a chance to generate a new source of income by renting them out. That’s why Spacenow would like to be the bridge between the two; partnering up with cooking professionals and property owners is the next move. With lower barriers of entry, more food entrepreneurs can enter the market with less risk and less costs.

“It can even encourage chefs to start up their own social footprint online and experiment with ideas they’ve always had, like ghost bars,” says Gunning. Ultimately, such collaborations will see the rise of a new market, and that’s where Spacenow comes in.

Spacenow aims to initiate collaboration between property owners who have the assets and chefs looking for much-needed kitchen space!

If you’re interested in capitalising on the new emerging market, Spacenow would love to hear from you. Society is adapting, and there is no better time than now to join in on this digital domination.

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