‘Getting served’ – top UK gripe

‘Getting served’ has become the leading gripe among UK consumers eating and drinking out - cited by nearly half (46%) of consumers as a frustration, research from the CGA Group in the UK reveals.

It shows British pubs and bars need to do more to make purchases easier and faster.

The findings are contained in a cross-Atlantic report comparing and contrasting trends in eating and drinking out in Britain and the US which show that while consumers in the two countries drink out roughly as often, the US still has a much bigger culture of eating out: Americans do so 7.9 times a month on average, compared to 4.6 times for Britons.

American and British consumers want a good range of options when they go out to drink but are increasingly overwhelmed by choice, according to the research.

Crossing the Pond; A CGA Group investigation into consumer trends, commonalities and differentiators of the GB and US on-premise also shows that US consumers are more likely to drink soft drinks and tequila out-of-home, while their British counterparts over-index on wine and beer.

US bars tend to be much better-stocked with spirits — offering nearly 66% more spirits than the average UK bar. Four in five (82%) spirit drinkers in the US say the range that’s available to them is important when they consider where to go to eat or drink.

But this can lead to feeling besieged by choice: two in five (41%) US consumers cite deciding what to drink as their biggest frustration when going out.

The report reveals that while three in five (59%) US spirit drinkers say visibility is an important factor in their choice, only a quarter (28%) of UK drinkers do the same. More than a third (39%) of Americans value staff recommendations compared to just one in eight (12%) UK consumers.

“This new report provides some fascinating insights into trends in Britain and the US—and shows that while our two countries are alike in our drinking habits in some respects, we are very different in others,” says CGA Strategy’s European Chief Executive Phil Tate, “It’s striking to see that some consumers feel confused by choice, which emphasises the need for operators to provide an optimum range of options, well-presented and efficiently delivered by knowledgeable staff. Pubs and bars that can achieve that will thrive in the years ahead.”

The report examines current drinks trends in the US including the rise of craft options, tequila and flavoured spirits. It also outlines likely future developments and key consumer behaviours in Britain and the US based on recent representative surveys of some 20,000 people in the two countries, supported by Nielsen.  

To purchase a copy of the report, please contact Molly Nicholas at or visit CGA Strategy.




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