Member Article

Quarter of consumers interested in restaurant VR experiences

Research from ePOS Hybrid has revealed 40% of consumers across the UK would like the opportunity to take a virtual tour of a venue before visiting, to ensure it has all of the right health and safety measures in place.

The past 18 months have led to some businesses leaning into virtual reality (VR) to showcase their venues are safe and adhering to government guidelines, but for others it’s being utilised to really elevate the customer experience. The same research also revealed 28% would be open to regularly visiting a bar/restaurant that offered them a VR experience if it was more accessible, while 21% would pay above the odds for a dining experience of this nature.

As the night time industry continues to plan for the future and many operators look to take their customer offering to the next level, the start-up that’s disrupting the hospitality sector commissioned the research to shine a light on consumer perception of the emerging technologies that some venues are adopting.

Andrew Gibbon, head of growth, ePOS Hybrid comments: “There are a wealth of technologies available to elevate the in-venue experience for consumers, enabling businesses to really take it to that next level. VR is possibly the most interesting we’ve seen emerge in recent years, with some venues providing patrons with immersive headsets to enhance their culinary experience taking them on a journey to the place that inspired their dish. While some venues across the UK, like London’s Otherworld and Croydon’s Limitless-VR, have integrated VR gaming with going out to distinguish themselves by offering consumers a new experience.

“Venues such as Ibiza’s Sublimotion are really paving the way with this technology, combining Michelin star food with an immersive multi-sensory experience, during which guests can submerge themselves into other worlds and travel to different times without having to leave their seats.”

On the general use of technology across the hospitality industry, the research also revealed: ● 44% of consumers would likely spend more on a dining experience if it was unique ● 32% would be interested in an elevated entertainment experience should hospitality businesses utilise holograms of well-known artists ● 32% would only ever visit a restaurant offering a unique experience such as VR as a one-off ● 31% are scared that if more technology is integrated into experiences, they will become less social ● Only 9% are excited about VR dining experiences, such as incorporating immersive headsets to enhance the culinary experience

Andrew concludes: “VR is definitely one to watch and creates a great opportunity for venues to offer something unique.

“While the implementation of immersive headsets may be a little too beyond the traditional setup right now, as the cost of the technology falls and consumers become more aware of this type of experience, I expect to see VR bars become fairly mainstream across the UK in the coming years.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jessica Louise Simm .

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