Ahead of reopening, CGA’s REACH survey of consumers found that nearly nine in ten (86%) planned to visit local venues more or as often as they did before the pandemic. More than a fifth (22%) say they will drink local brands when they go back to the On Premise—an increase of six percentage points from a pre-COVID survey.
While Ireland’s restaurants, pubs and bars have been able to host guests outdoors since early June, they are only due to be allowed to serve inside from Monday. However, several major restrictions will remain in place, including a requirement to show an EU Digital Covid Certificate to gain entry, and it will be some time before service returns to normal.
The appeal of local venues and drinks has been evident in CGA’s research around the world as markets reopen. New habits that were established during lockdowns—including working from home, reducing travel and providing greater support to communities—are likely to continue to influence consumer behaviour for at least as long as COVID-19 concerns persist.
However, CGA’s data also suggests that consumers who have stayed away from city centres in the last 16 months will return in due course. More than a third (35%) say they are looking forward to visiting centres to eat and drink when normality returns. This is echoed in open markets worldwide, where around half (47%) of consumer have been visiting city centres at least as often as they did pre-COVID.
CGA’s survey of business leaders meanwhile shows that operators are embracing consumers’ desire to stay close to home. More than three quarters (78%) expect the trend to have a positive impact on their business this year.
“After so many months in lockdown, consumers in Ireland are clearly very keen to get back to their tried and trusted venues and drinks,” says Sian Brennan, CGA’s client director, Ireland. “It’s a very positive trend for pubs, bars, restaurants and drinks brands that are rooted in Ireland’s communities, though less welcome for city centre operators and big drinks manufacturers. Dublin and other cities will get back to their pre-COVID vibrancy as visitors and workers return, but for the time being businesses throughout the sector will need a hyper-local focus in their sales and marketing.”
CGA’s extensive consumer and business research services can provide suppliers and operators with in-depth analysis of key trends as Ireland’s On Premise reopens. To learn more, email Sian Brennan at email@example.com.