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2024 Trend Predictions for Cafes: Elevate Your Cafe Experience

While the ever-evolving consumer market for hospitality remains and will likely, always remain unpredictable, there are some trends that we think could be influential through the year. We've compiled some of the more interesting predictions that have been gaining traction and that are expected to continue shaping the cafe scene. From changes in food and drink offerings to the utilisation of hospitality technology, let's explore what could help your venue in 2024 and beyond.

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1.Increase in QR Codes

Although QR code ordering is already prevalent in many cafes, some establishments have been hesitant, fearing it may detract from the customer experience. If you fall into the latter category, perhaps a reconsideration is in order. QR codes, offer a convenient option for tech-savvy customers, while those less familiar with technology can still opt for traditional ordering methods if they prefer and enjoy the customer service you and your team give them. You do not have to choose to go all in on one method only.

Implementing QR codes streamlines the ordering and payment process, reduces stress on staff, eliminates queues to a large extent, provides faster service, allows data collection, enables menu updates, facilitates customer feedback, assists with upselling menu items, and ultimately can lead to larger profits.

QR codes are likely to be adopted by more cafes in 2024, even if only for specific sections of their venues, such as outdoor seating.

If you are looking to implement them in your venue, bear this in mind: Communication and staff training are vital to ensure customers still feel they are receiving a personalised experience while benefiting from added convenience of QR codes.


2. Locally Sourced Ingredients

Consumers increasingly prioritise healthier options, and often focus on locally sourced ingredients. Cafes, often at the heart of local communities, can capitalise on this trend by showcasing their use of local suppliers. Informing customers about local sourcing positively influences their perception of the café, is a talking point and can foster a commitment to support local businesses.

If you are not convinced, try this stat on for size: Research found that consumers are willing to pay a premium – up to 20% more – for locally sourced items if you are looking for incremental price increases, or ways to cover costs because you are already using local produce, consider updating your menus or displaying signs indicating the use of local ingredients.


3. Contactless Payments Highly Prevalent

It is far from new news, but the truth is, as Australia embraces a cashless society, contactless payments are set to continue to rise in popularity through 2024. Regardless of venue size, introducing contactless payment options is essential to accommodate a growing consumer base that prefers digital transactions. OOLIO PAY provides a seamless and easy-to-set-up contactless payment system, offering customers a quick and effortless way to pay using their smartphones or smartwatches.




4. Increased Normality of Surcharges

Surcharges, which all venues incur on public holidays and Sundays, are a cost burden to businesses. Some smaller cafes have been hesitant to implement surcharges, but reconsidering this approach is crucial. Surcharges are not an indication you are greedy; rather, they help hospitality businesses break even on days with increased operating costs, such as when workers are paid more.

According reports from a prominent governing body, businesses shouldn't impose a surcharge unless they're facing elevated costs on that particular day.

As was reported by the ABC, "I've seen surcharges moving and the range is more than 10 to 20 per cent." - CCIQ workplace relations general manager. Surcharges are expected to become even more prevalent in 2024, potentially increasing due to elevated costs faced by venues. Seasonal destinations, for instance, may introduce peak season surcharges to cover additional expenses like staff accommodation.


5. Seasonal Menus

In response to the cost-of-living crisis, cafes are likely to adopt more seasonal menus in 2024. These menus not only help venues save money but also contribute to sustainability efforts and add freshness and “novelty” for customers. We foresee that incorporating seasonal items onto menus will become a crucial aspect of venues sustainability practices.

An added benefit is seasonal menus also contribute to reducing food waste, as locally sourced ingredients have a longer shelf life compared to imports with less food going bad in storage.


This list is not definitive by any stretch of the imagination but they are a good place to start if you are looking to lift your operations. Another way to get ahead is to speak to us about how our POS solution thinks ahead for cafes and how it can help you stay ahead of the curve in 2024.

Contact our team today to learn about our hospitality solutions and how they can elevate your cafe's operations in the coming year.