It’s predicted with the prevalence of vaccines, Americans will be ready to socialize, have fun, and completely obliterate the past year from our collective memories. The Roaring ‘20s are back.
During the height of the pandemic, alcohol sales soared as consumers imbibed at home. As restrictions are lifted, the question is will people start to go back to old habits. 4A’s Research partnered with Researchscape, an agile market research consultancy, to find out consumer attitudes towards and comfort levels with visiting bars and nightclubs as the post-COVID world comes more into focus.
Ready to leave the house?
With a survey base of 2,025, results show that 26% of respondents are ready to socialize at bars and nightclubs like they used to. 12% are not comfortable going to such establishments yet, while 10% are okay with sitting outside, but not inside. 14% did say they will go out to bars and nightclubs, but it will be less frequently than they did pre-COVID. Please note, 38% of respondents said they don’t go to bars, so they were not part of the rest of the survey.
Across generations, people are ready to socialize like they used to, with Millennial respondents the most ready. Gen X is actually the generation who are most likely to say they are not ready to go to a bar yet.
When asked how long since their last visit to a bar or nightclub, the majority of respondents (41%) answered more than a year ago. 17% have visited in the past month, while 11% went in the past week.
Gender appears to play a role in comfort levels when going out; 37% of men have been to a bar or nightclub in the past week, compared to 21% of women. Also, as income ranges rise, so does the likelihood of going to a bar in the past month; 60% of those with income $200,000+ vs. 24% of those with incomes $25,000-$49,000.
Let’s meet up!
Meeting up with friends (50%) is the top reason people go to a bar or nightclub. Getting out of the house is a close second (44%).
Drink specials (40%) is a big draw to attend happy hour. Surprisingly, about one-third (29%) go to happy hour for the food specials. 24% say they go to happy hour to save money.
Beer is the drink of choice during a night on the town. 21% of respondents order cocktails, 18% wine, and 13% prefer hard liquor. Again, surprisingly, 3% of respondents chose hard seltzer as their go-to drink. Hard seltzer is once again being crowned the drink of the summer, so we were expecting this to be higher.
Age does factor into drink preferences. Gen Z said wine (36%) and shots (18%) are their go-to on-premise drinks, way above other generations. 3% of Gen X chose shots as their go-to drink, while neither Baby Boomers or Millennials selected this choice. Beer, wine, and hard liquor were pretty even among Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. Please note, only those 21+ participated in the survey.
Participant parameters: 21+, 1,216 participants. Conducted in partnership with Researchscape from May 28, 2021 to June 1, 2021.
Parents are ready to socialize!
The survey results showed a big difference in how those with kids at home and those without kids at home are preparing themselves for a night out in a post-COVID future. 38% of those with children at home are ready to socialize like they used to, compared to 20% of respondents with no children at home.
We also see that 37% of those with children at home have visited a bar, compared to 24% of those with no children at home.
Dance, date night, and opportunity to hang out with co-workers show the biggest difference in reasons to go out between those with kids at home and those who don’t.
After the long, stressful year, who can blame parents with young kids at home for wanting–and needing–a night out. Agencies with alcohol, bar, nightlife, and entertainment clients take notice — parents just might be the target market that will make your client succeed.
Researchscape is a member of AAP, which provides exclusive discounts for 4A’s members. Learn more about Researchscape and its custom survey service here.