New OpenTable data identifies industry rewards and challenges

Ristorante Fellini of Main Beach (QLD) was one of 76 restaurants to participate in the survey.

Online reservation platform, OpenTable, has released its inaugural Restaurant Insight research, revealing data about Australia's top hospitality professionals.

Conducted in January 2018, the survey combines data from 76 OpenTable restaurants across the country and reveals what experts see as the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the industry.

“We wanted to take a pulse from some of Australia's most reputable and bookable restaurants, [and ask] them about the areas that matter the most to them,” said Leslie Christianson, district manager of OpenTable Australia.

The report found that less than a quarter of Australian restaurant owners (23%) considered having a talent for cooking as necessary for succeeding in the hospitality industry.

The majority of those surveyed (83%) cited, instead, that possessing leadership qualities is the most important factor in running a successful restaurant, coupled with a strong work ethic (79%) and an understanding of the hospitality industry (68%).

In regards to the most challenging aspects of the job, almost half of respondents noted budgeting and financial management (47%), while 45% stated staffing and HR, and 50% said people management.

“A memorable dining experience is as much about the people as it is the food, therefore it is no wonder that staff are considered one of the most valuable assets to a business,” said Christianson.

“One way some of our partners have identified to help nurture relationships is by encouraging restaurateurs to share responsibility and empower those around them, checking in regularly with those on the front-line and involving them in decision making.”

Unsurprisingly, almost two in three of restaurateurs (60%) found that they took the most pleasure in delivering impeccable hospitality, alongside devising menus (31%), and floor and table management (23%).

In regards to trusted sources, the advice of business partners (36%) and fellow restaurateurs (26%) was most sought when opening a new business, with the opinion of spouses (13%) closely following.

The research aims to assist and inspire the next generation of restaurateurs to build a successful career in the hospitality industry.

For more information on OpenTable and the survey, visit