Consumers hesitant to return to bars reopening in US

15th May, 2020 by Melita Kiely

One in 10 consumers surveyed across four US states have visited a bar since the on-trade started reopening following the relaxation of lockdown measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Nielsen CGA survey showed 10% of consumers returned to bars between 9-11 May in four US states where the on-trade is reopening

The most recent On Premise Impact Report by Nielsen CGA surveyed 1,600 consumers from Tennessee, Texas, Florida and Georgia between 9-11 May.

The results showed 10% of those questioned had visited a bar or restaurant for a drink during this period.

The results also showed one in five (21%) consumers had visited a bar or restaurant to eat.

Younger consumers were more likely to return to bars sooner than older demographics. A total of 16% of those questioned who were aged 21-34 visited a bar between 9-11 May, compared to 12% of those aged 35-54 and 4% of those over the age of 55.

Dining levels were much higher, with 30% of 21-34-year-olds having already visited a restaurant to eat, dropping to 21% among the 35-54-year-olds and 15% of the 55-and-above age group.

The figures also showed that 34% of those who have already returned to on-trade venues have only done so once, while 44% have visited twice and 22% have visited at least three times or more.

For the 71% who have not yet returned to bars or restaurants, the overriding reason was needing more time to feel comfortable visiting these places (48%), while 47% said they do not feel safe going out.

Furthermore, 47% said they were concerned about how close they would be to strangers and 24% were self-isolating.

Asked when they would be willing to visit on-trade establishments again, the biggest response (31%) was when the number of Covid-19 cases wasn’t starting to increase again.

A further 23% said they would return when venues showed they could accommodate physical distancing, while 22% said they would go back once the number of Covid-19 cases was below a certain number. However, 27% said they would return once a vaccine or treatment would be available.

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