CGA’s August On Premise Measurement Service (OPUS) data research revealed that “footfall is building” in Ireland and Northern Ireland as 80% of people had been back to venues after restrictions on indoor eating and drinking were eased in July.
The research, drawing on a survey of around 2,500 nationally representative consumers, found that confidence about safety has started to build, with 67% saying they feel “very or quite confident” about visiting out-of-home eating and drinking venues.
The survey also provides “cautious optimism” for the festive season, with 53% of consumers planning to go out for Christmas and 31% for New Year celebrations.
However, the survey also revealed signs that Covid may compromise some people’s spending. More than a third of consumers say they have less disposable income than they did before the pandemic.
Phillip Montgomery, CGA’s client services director in Ireland, said: “The On Premise has rebounded well since trading restrictions were finally loosened in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and there are welcome signs that consumers are settling back into pre-Covid habits.
“But the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on both consumers and operators, and with confidence still fragile and businesses facing a wide range of operational and cost pressures, the On Premise is not out of the woods yet.”
He added: “To make the most of November and December, operators and suppliers will need to stay right on top of consumer trends and preferences, and cater for both those who want to celebrate and trade up, and those who have been hit financially and are now seeking value.”