NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Drinking establishments may have reason to hope they can finally shake their recession hangover, one new survey shows.
Nearly a quarter of adults say they are going out to drink at bars and clubs more often this year than they did in 2010, according to a survey of consumer spending habits from Citysearch, an online guide for local outings. The trend is even more pronounced in younger Americans with roughly half of those under 35 saying they visit bars and clubs more now than last year.
Bars and alcohol in general had once been thought of as a recession-proof industry that might benefit from tough economic times as more consumers looked for ways to boost their spirits with spirits, but this only proved partly true. Americans did continue to drink, but according to one study from mid-2010, 90% poured their own drinks at home in an effort to save money.
Bar owners shouldn’t pour their celebratory drinks quite yet though. Citysearch’s results, which are based on interviews with more than 1,000 adults, don’t exactly represent a full-fledged recovery from the recession years, as 40% of those surveyed say they are visiting bars less. Much of this is driven by women, 52% of whom said they were going out to drink less compared to about a third of men who said the same.
Still, bars have shown a greater increase in consumer demand than restaurants in this report.
Just 15% of those surveyed said they are eating out at restaurants more frequently this year than last, while 37% said they were dining out less often. Like with bars and clubs, much of the increase has come from those below the age of 34, while more than 40% of those 45-64 say they now eat out less.
Both restaurants and bars might need to start marketing more heavily to older Americans if they really want to boost their business going forward.
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