Anticipation for the first King’s Birthday is high as ResDiary data shows there’s been 34% more bookings on the June public holiday during 2021 to 2022, compared to a usual Monday.
King’s Birthday Eve, the day before the public holiday, is also expected to be a cash cow with a 40% increase in bookings projected based on previous years data.
Stefan Overzier, APAC Head of Customer Service and Support said public holidays present a mixed blessing for hospitality – on one hand they bring a potential influx of customers but on the other there is a much higher operating cost.
“The data shows that while bookings are higher on public holidays, diners prefer more casual venues, earlier seating times and smaller booking sizes. Savvy operators can analyse the data to respond to changes in dining habits and operate on reduced staff, hours or menus to ultimately ensure they are profitable.”
Reservation Manager at The Prince Hotel Kirrawee, said despite the higher costs it’s worthwhile opening on a public holiday considering they are one of the few venues in the area that do.
“In the past we have seen higher booking numbers over the weekend prior to the Queen’s Birthday. The Sunday night in 2022 before the public holiday generated 180 more covers compared to a usual Sunday evening trade. Also, the day of the Queen’s Birthday sees a higher lunch trade, easily doubling or tripling what we would normally see on a Monday.”
In an effort to help businesses balance costs with the upcoming King’s Birthday, ResDiary has analysed customer trends across key public holidays since the beginning of 2021.*
Here are ResDiary’s top insights into booking trends:
- Staff up for the King’s Birthday long weekend
With 34% more bookings on the Queen’s Birthday than a usual Monday, it may well be worth opening for the upcoming King’s Birthday.
The findings also reveal that dinner bookings (5pm-9pm) make up the majority (42.7%) of bookings on the Queen’s Birthday, followed by 34% lunch (12pm-4pm) and 23.3% breakfast (6-11am). The busiest times to dine are 8am-9am, 12pm-1pm and 5pm-7pm. With diners looking for all-day dining experiences, operating on reduced hours or reduced staff during the quieter times could help reduce costs.
A key stand-out trend has been the effect on trade either side of the Queen’s Birthday with a 40% uplift in bookings on the day before (Sunday) and expectedly, a slight dip of 5% the day after (Tuesday).
- Mid-range venues win on Public Holidays
Mid-range venues such as pubs, clubs and cafés with a price point of $21 to $60, are busier on Public Holidays than other venues, accounting for nearly three quarters (70%) of all bookings in Australia.
- More two-person reservations are needed
Booking data shows the most favourable booking size on most public holidays is two people accounting for over 40% of bookings.
On Easter Sunday, it is unsurprising to see fewer two-person bookings (38%) and more group bookings of 4 or more (48%) due to being a more family orientated day.
By offering more desired reservations, this could reduce the chances of empty tables and dented profits.
- Early lunches and early dinners are highly desirable
The data shows 12pm is the most preferred booking time for lunch, accounting for 15% of all reservations and a whopping 64% more bookings than 1pm. The data also revealed that 6pm is the most favourable booking time for dinner, accounting for 20% of all reservations.
While dinner bookings still make up the lion’s share of public holiday bookings (on average making up for 50% of all bookings) lunch bookings are becoming increasingly popular. Lunch bookings only accounted for 30% of all public holiday bookings in 2021, yet this steadily increased to reach 35% in 2022.
The desire for an early booking indicates diners are eager to get in and out in a short timeframe. This allows venues to reduce operating hours and to provide staff breaks between lunch and dinner to reduce operational costs.
For more predictions and insights from ResDiary, visit their website here
*The key Public Holidays analysed are:
New Years Day