Outdoor seating options set to remain key to the On Premise

During summertime, outdoor seating has been an integral part of the On Premise experience for many. Four in five (79%) consumers are comfortable using it when visiting the venues and this importance is set to continue as we head into the Fall and Winter months.

In CGA’s most recent COVID-19 impact report over a third (36%) of consumers said that they only use or have a preference for outdoor seating when visiting bars and restaurants. Of the 11% that said they only use outdoor seating, this increases to 16% among those that are waiting for their second COVID-19 vaccination and 28% among those that are waiting on their first vaccination.


Looking forward to Fall and Winter, outdoor dining will continue to play a significant part. Less than one in five (18%) of those currently using outdoor seating say they will switch exclusively to indoor seating during these seasons. Three in five (58%) will use outdoor seating the same amount as now, with a quarter still using it, but with less regularity. Continuing to provide this facility will, therefore, remain important even in the colder weather. This is especially true in States where temperature drops are more modest such as California, Florida and Texas.


It is important for venues and drinks suppliers to understand what occasions visitors are using outdoor seating for and if they behave any differently than when sitting inside a venue.


Almost half (46%) said that they have used outdoor seating for a catch up with friends. This highlights the importance of outdoor space for enabling groups to meet up and make up for occasions they may have forgone during COVID-19 restrictions.


In terms of drink choice, seven in ten said this is not affected by whether they use indoor or outdoor seating. However, over a third of 21-34 year olds said their drink choice is impacted, falling to only 6% of over 55s. Categories such as beer, soft drinks and cocktails are the most popular among On Premise visitors when using outdoor seating. With a notable proportion of younger consumers switching drink categories when sat outside, it is essential to gain an understanding of their path to purchase in order for suppliers to be able to influence this. Ultimately, this can help drive sales to specific categories and brands that do this.


Matthew Crompton, Client Solutions Director, Americas, said “As well as establishing consumers path to purchase when sat outdoors, venues and suppliers should work together and consider how marketing and promotions might need to be adapted depending on where customers decide to sit.

This is particularly important with large proportions intending to continue to use outdoor seating even after summer has ended.”

CGA’s consumer research sampled over 1,600 LDA On Premise consumers across four key states (California, Florida, New York & Texas) from July 29 – August 2. To access the latest COVID-19 On Premise Impact report, click here.


CGA will be closely tracking consumers’ confidence, habits, and preferences as the On Premise is now at full trading.

To learn more about how CGA’s consumer research and new Path to Purchase study can support the recovery strategies of both operators and suppliers, email matthew.crompton@cgastrategy.com

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