Monday, July 14, 2008

Economy Hurts On-Premise Drinking

Research from the Nielsen company and Bevinco indicates that fewer consumers are drinking at bars, restaurants and nightclubs and that on-premise sales of alcoholic beverages have been "considerably impacted" by the declining economy.

LESS CONSUMER TRAFFIC. More than 40% of bar managers, bar owners, and bartenders surveyed say they have seen a decrease in consumer traffic, while 25% note a decrease in the number of drinks ordered and 22% say that customers are ordering less expensive drinks. The casual dining sector appears to be the hardest hit, with 46% of respondents in this area reporting a decline.

Consumers say they are cutting back too. About 66% of fine dining patrons admit they are going out less often compared to a year ago, while 65% of nightclub patrons, 55% of bar patrons, 59% of casino and resort patrons and 52% of casual dining visitors said the same thing.

On-premise venues on the East and West coasts report the greatest declines, with owners and operators in California and Florida citing significant decreases in consumer traffic: 55% and 52% respectively. Slightly more than half of Texas operators report a decrease in consumer traffic, while nearly one-third see patrons ordering less expensive drinks. In addition, 43% of Florida operators say they've experienced a decrease in the number of drinks ordered. Just one-third of establishments in Florida and California claim no impact overall.

Wine & Spirits Daily