On-premise Alcohol Trends - US - May 2015
“Millennials offer an opportunity for restaurants to cater to their unique tastes and desires, as this group is more likely to drink at restaurants than are other generations. Operators that offer distinct drinks such as specialty cocktails and restaurants’ own brand of alcohol can help create the quality dining experience this group desires. More LSRs should consider offering alcohol as Millennials are very likely to eat at these types of restaurants.”
– Julia Gallo-Torres, Senior Analyst, Foodservice
This report covers the following issues:
- How can restaurants draw Millennials?
- How should restaurants appeal to at-home drinkers?
- Can LSRs compete with FSRs for share of alcohol spending?
Improving economic conditions are prompting more consumers to spend on dining out, although some remain cautious about pricing and are likely to be motivated to order alcohol by drink specials. Premiumization across alcohol categories is driving sales, as many consumers gravitate toward specialty cocktails, signature drinks, restaurant brand beer/wine/spirits, and ultra-premium spirits. Millennials are a key demographic for restaurants as they tend to dine out frequently and desire a quality dining experience.
As the economy continues to slowly improve, consumers are not only dining out more frequently, they are also looking for more exclusive and unique alcoholic drinks. Specialty cocktails; signature drinks; restaurant brand beer, wine, and spirits; locally produced craft and artisanal brands; and super-premium spirits reflect an overall trade-up trend occurring across most all alcohol categories, especially in fine dining but also increasingly in casual and even fast casual settings. This evolution is likely the best strategy for restaurant operators to combat the high probability that consumers will drink at home rather than at a restaurant. Drink promotions such as happy hours and weekday drink specials are also key methods for encouraging customers to order alcohol with their meals, as close to half of consumers say drink prices are a barrier to ordering.
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