In what may have implications for the hospitality trade emerging from lockdown here in the West findings from this research, undertaken between May the 7th & the 11th to understand how consumers have reacted to the opening of eating and drinking out establishments, show that since re-opening there’s a 50/50 split between those who’ve been out and those who haven’t.
CGA’s survey of 2,000 consumers from China’s most developed bar and restaurant markets, alongside those in Wuhan, found that of the 48% of consumers who’ve ventured back out to eat and drink, the majority of them have done so multiple times.
“This even split in a market in which eating and drinking out was a previously fundamental part of daily life, highlights the apprehensive nature of consumers to go out again as well as the precautions required to persuade consumers back into the out of home market,” said CGA’s Global Chief Executive Phil Tate.
The venues in which consumers feel most comfortable tend to be mainstream and fine-dining restaurants followed by cafés and fast-food outlets.
At the other end of the scale nightclubs and leisure venues rank as the outlets that consumers feel least confident visiting.
The research also highlights a significant group of consumers for whom eating and drinking out continues to represent a risk and who do not plan to revisit the sector any time soon. Two-thirds of those yet to go out don’t plan to do so in the next month, with the risks of secondary and tertiary waves emerging front of mind. In all, 60% of consumers said that some or all of the venues they’d typically visit had re-opened post-lockdown only to have to close again, reports CGA.
Its research delivers insight into how outlets and suppliers may need to shift strategy to adapt to new circumstances including changes in drinking habits, choice of where to visit and the impact on disposable income.
It also delves into broader trends which may impact the longer-term fortunes of eating and drinking out, including the acceleration of health considerations, the impact of financial hardship on premiumisation and the renewed desire to ‘support local’.
“With so many variables and unknown factors in markets yet to fully re-open, navigating a path to recovery and building a strategy is an undoubted challenge,” concluded Phil Tate, “However, understanding a consumer perspective from an advanced market provides a glimpse into the future and allows for insight into how target consumers will react and therefore how strategies can be tweaked for success.”