The future of bookings is social. GO Tech report reveals an opportunity for hospitality to drive revenue by leveraging social media for reservations.
The future of bookings is social. Half of all social media users look for hospitality venues to visit on Facebook and Instagram
Nearly half of social media users (48%) already using the channels to search for hospitality venues. The latest GO Tech report highlights the opportunity for businesses to drive bookings and footfall through social media.
The figures from leading hospitality tech company, Zonal and industry data and insight firm, CGA highlight how social media channels are becoming a close competitor to Google, which 79% of consumers use to search for venues.
This most recent GO Tech report, in partnership with booking channel aggregator Mozrest, shows that 80% of consumers use at least one social media platform. A third of these (31%) use such channels to book tables or order food for takeaway and delivery. This number increases to 53% amongst 18 – 24-year-olds, demonstrating the opportunity.
More people are going online to research or interact with a hospitality venue pre-visit
There is more need than ever for hospitality marketers to use these platforms to drive reservations and footfall into venues:
- 48% of consumers look on social media for recommendations of places to eat and drink out
- 33% of consumers use social media to book a table at a pub or restaurant
- 38% of those that currently don’t would consider using social media to book a table at a pub or restaurant
Driving reservations via virtual assistants
The research revealed an opportunity for venues to drive reservations via virtual assistants (Alexa, Google Assistant…) in the not-too-distant future. The devices are increasingly common in UK households. Indeed, the research reveals that 50% of consumers now own a virtual assistant, rising to 72% among 18- to 24-year-olds. Nearly half (47%) of virtual assistant owners use their devices for research, including searching for a venue. Almost a third (30%) of consumers said that reserving a table via an assistant would be quicker and more convenient.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, older consumers are less likely than younger ones to engage with a venue or reserve a table online. The research shows 75% of people aged 45+ haven’t even used Google to find venues for eating and drinking out. Therefore, the challenge for marketers is to ensure businesses are using the proper marketing methods to attract the right demographic. Streamlining the customer booking journey and offering multiple booking channels is key. Whether via a website, phone, email, or virtual assistants such as Alexa.
What they say about it
Olivia FitzGerald, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, Zonal:
“Booking ahead became a necessity during the pandemic, but this trend is here to stay even with restrictions lifted. With more people using the likes of Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Google for recommendations, having a booking system that can be linked to these online platforms is key. Marketers who use this space to effectively communicate with customers will reap the benefits of maximising reservations and keeping customers engaged for the long-term.
When it comes to bookings, convenience is key, so providing a frictionless booking experience is a priority, whatever the channel. The advent of virtual assistants means that accurate, real-time availability is also becoming a must-have, with bookings increasingly being made on the go. Joined-up tech helps drive reservations and, ultimately, revenue.”
Karl Chessell, CGA Director – Hospitality Operators and Food, EMEA:
“This research confirms the huge importance of social media and web searches to pubs, bars, and restaurants—not just promoting venues but generating bookings and sales. With consumers living more and more of their lives on Facebook, Google and other platforms, these are the battlegrounds on which marketers must now compete for brand awareness, loyalty and spending.
It’s interesting to see the high importance of visual social media like Instagram and TikTok and virtual assistants. These are vital places to connect with young adults in particular. Here and elsewhere, engaging and authentic content, seamless integration of booking facilities and a close eye on emerging technologies and trends will be essential in 2022 and beyond.”
Jérôme Pernollet, Founder & CEO, Mozrest:
“Social media is an integral part of our daily lives. As this report shows, they play a bigger role in hospitality than some may have expected. As a result, it’s important for businesses to future proof their booking and reservation systems. This becomes even more critical for operators wishing to connect with younger consumers such as Gen Z.
Using online tools to make your venue visible where consumers look for reviews, images, and recommendations is absolutely key. The good news is that Mozrest technology offers restaurants the ability to centralise all online reservations, whatever the booking channel.”
About the data
This report is based on figures from Zonal and CGA’s exclusive GO Technology survey of 5,000 nationally representative British consumers. February 2022.
Zonal is a UK-based, family-owned, connected technology provider offering innovative solutions to 16,000+ businesses of all shapes and sizes across the hospitality sector. With more than 100 partners and third-party partner applications, Zonal helps customers to streamline operations, maximise profits and enhance the guest experience.
CGA is the definitive on-premise measurement, insight and research consultancy that empowers the world’s most successful food and drink brands. With more than 30 years of experience and best-in-class research, data and analytics, CGA is uniquely positioned to help on-premise businesses develop winning strategies for growth.
CGA works with food and beverage suppliers, consumer brand owners, wholesalers, government entities and pub, bar and restaurant retailers to protect and shape the future of the on-premise experience. Its mission is to use phenomenal data and expert insights to give brands a competitive edge and ensure the market we love is the most vibrant possible.
Created in London in October 2020, Mozrest is a tech start-up offering an innovative platform for restaurants and local businesses by centralising multi-channel bookings directly into their reservation system, based on their live availability. The benefits are multiple: enabling customers to make online reservations at any time whilst considerably reducing booking mistakes and freeing up the restaurant’s staff time to focus on providing great in-venue customer service. The company plans to deploy its technology for local businesses, including garages, hair and beauty salons or health centres. For more info, visit mozrest.com.