Knowing your hospitality venue’s demographics is having a clear target to aim your marketing efforts at. It’s vital information to your business and often overlooked by many business owners, whether they have many years’ experience or very few. When you know the profile of people who visit your venue as well as those that live around your venue, you can be much more effective with your marketing offers, maximising their stay and spend in your venue.

A demographic profile can include age, profession, income, marital status, size of family, plus many more aspects that can assist in guiding you to increase your revenue.

For example, here are some questions you could ask about the people in and around your venue:

  • Does your area contain a large number of single parents with 2 kids or more? Make your restaurant family friendly with good affordable food.
  • Does it contain a high percentage of university students that like to celebrate and socialise? Open a bar focused on quantity, faster turnover and cheaper pricing.
  • Do you have a large mix of people with many of the same types of venues in the area catering to them? There may be an opportunity for a unique offering.
  • Are you in a prominent nightclub focused area with lots of young single professionals (accountants/lawyers/doctors)? Cater to their need for networking.

I have seen struggling businesses transform into a profitable one, just by knowing what their patrons want and delivering it to them.

The most common mistakes venues make with their demographics

The most common mistake I see venues making is trying to be all things to all people by targeting all demographics and wasting their efforts because they end up pleasing no one. Or even worse, not targeting a demographic. How can you aim an arrow at a target when you don’t know what the target is?

  • Unless we are talking about small rural towns, 40-50 year olds don’t generally socialise in a bar with 18-22 year olds. If you are trying to attract both these crowds and are struggling with either, you may need to revisit your business model.
  • If you have a bar that caters to a wine and tapas crowd which are in the 25-35 year age group, whilst providing a DJ and nightclub atmosphere on a Friday and Saturday night, which are statistically more popular with the 18-22 year old crowds, you may drive away the 25-35 age market.
  • It doesn’t make sense to offer expensive cocktails when your first pour spirits are the cheapest ones you can get from your supplier – there must be a level of consistency. The 18-22 year olds will not be able to sustain sipping $20 cocktails all night as someone with an established income can do.

Do your homework prior to launching your marketing plans so that you know your demographics like the back of your hand. I would also recommend visiting your competition to see what they are doing. Is there something they are missing? Can you fill that space and help create a better experience for your target audience?

Too many people rely on word of mouth as to how other venues are going, but until you see with your own eyes and hear with your own ears, they are just that – words.

How do you get to know your demographic better?

There are many ways to find out more about both the patrons who visit your venue and the people living around your venue.

For existing patrons, membership and loyalty systems are an important part of any hospitality business today and the easiest way to start collecting data on the people who already visit your venue. You’ll build a knowledge bank of your patrons’ dietary preferences, frequency of visits, drinks they prefer, birthdays etc. This makes it easier to market to them.

Demographic information about the areas around your venue can be obtained from Census data, Google Maps, local hospitality professionals such as the team at H&L Australia and asking other local businesses who have been around for a while.

Not all successful hospitality venues get their target market right or have it right. It’s a moving “target” and needs to be reviewed regularly to make sure you’re always in touch with what your market wants.

Call your local H&L Account Manager for marketing inspiration

The team at H&L Australia are hospitality people. We know the industry well, the seasonal changes, the ups and downs and we know all too well how target markets can change. Having a H&L Account Manager on your team will give you a competitive edge. Call us on 1300 797 638 to discuss your venue’s challenges and how we can help.


H&L POS – working with you to help you grow your business 

H&L POS has been delivering POS solutions with extensive back of house and staff management systems to the hospitality industry for more than 30 years. As hospitality people at heart, H&L understand the critical requirements for each food and beverage operation. We have staff in every state of Australia providing direction and advice as you grow and as technology changes.

Call us at 1800 778 340, email or fill in the form below to discuss your venue’s needs.