US bar operators will continue takeaway offerings post-lockdown

21st May, 2020 by Owen Bellwood

More than half (52%) of US on-trade operators will continue offering delivery services when they reopen following the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Nielsen survey.

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52% of bar operators hope to continue offering delivery services after the Covid-19 lockdown

The findings come from Nielsen CGA’s new Owner/Operator Survey, which was conducted to understand how US on-trade operators have been coping throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

As lockdown orders forced bars around the world to close their doors, many venues launched takeaway and delivery services in order to maintain cash flow and continue serving the community.

The results of the Owner/Operator Survey found that of the operators currently offering a delivery service, more than half hope to continue the service once lockdown restrictions are lifted. However, 60% of operators reported that reduced fees from third-party delivery platforms would make this element of their business more sustainable.

The report also found that during the pandemic, only 11% of operators have been able to generate sustainable profits through a takeaway business only.

Reducing the range

According to the study, more than half (52%) of operators anticipate reducing their range of both food and drink until regular trading can resume, and just 35% of those polled expect to retain the brands stocked pre-coronavirus.

When asked how suppliers can assist operators, 58% said they were looking for short term product discounts and 46% are also looking for help in driving footfall.

Scott Elliott, SVP of Nielsen CGA, said: “The majority of on-premise operators believe that they are in for a bumpy ride as the industry transitions towards a more predictable ongoing performance. They really want help, and the suppliers that offer exceptional support now will gain the kind of loyalty that may have seemed impossible before this crisis.

“That said, the stakes are high for these operators – who are in need of facts to help remove risk through this unprecedented operating period. Suppliers that work as true partners and offer real value to on-premise owners and operators will gain loyalty and advocacy, two of the most difficult things to achieve in the on-premise space.”

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