A Lightspeed/Mintel survey conducted in July 2020 sheds some light on consumer attitudes on beverage alcohol on-premise in the Covid era. For instance, more than half (55%) of respondents said they had not ordered alcohol from a restaurant or bar in the past three months; 43% of those said it was because they hadn’t visited a restaurant/bar.
When asked from what type of on-premise operation they would be interested in ordering alcohol from, the plurality (26%) said an outdoor bar. And of those, 36% would be interested in drinking the alcohol while visiting the outdoor bar; 19% said they would be interested in ordering alcohol for takeout; and 16% would be interested in ordering alcohol from it for delivery. That’s good news for operators who have invested in creating or upgrading outdoor spaces during the pandemic.
Nearly a quarter of the respondents said they were interested in purchasing alcohol from a casual-dining chain such as Applebee’s or Olive Garden. Of those, 37% want to drink alcohol while visiting the restaurant, vs. 18% who would order it for takeout and 15% who would order it for delivery. In most type of establishment, respondents wanted to consume the alcohol on the premises.
When asked what drinks they would be interested in purchasing at a restaurant or bar, the top answer was natural wines, or those made with minimal intervention. Why natural wines, a trendy if somewhat controversial topic?
Consumers may want to experiment with wines by the glass before committing to buying a bottle at the store. They may also prefer to engage with a bartender or sommelier to learn what makes the wines natural and special, and perhaps pair them with food. After natural wines, respondents said they were interested in purchasing Tiki cocktails from a bar or restaurant.
Tiki drinks can be more complicated thanks to their exotic ingredients and over-the-top garnishes, so consumers may prefer to leave such cocktails to the professionals. What’s more, Tiki is all about fun, vacation and escapism, which is best done out of the house.